Culinary Lineup Announced for BICF Gala

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The eighth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival gala is Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. Indulge in both savory and sweet creations prepared by top chefs and chocolatiers, plus unlimited wine and beer pours, in the spacious ballroom and twinkle-lit courtyard.

Big Island Chocolate Festival will be on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Courtesy photo.

More chocolatey fun includes a tasty mole and salad bar, specialty cocktails by Tattoo Tequila and select wines by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Always an event favorite, alluring chocolate body painting will be performed by the talented Big Island Face Painter Jennifer Rose Mydock and Cynthia Buckles of CynthiArtistry.

Tropical Vibrations will serenade attendees while DJ EzE spins tunes for your dancing pleasure. A silent auction will offer a variety of local activities, art, jewelry, dining certificates and off-island adventures.

The evening’s theme is “Black and White” and attendees are invited to dress it up in swanky black and white attire—gold & silver bling are encouraged. Culinary stations will be judged on their depiction of the classic color combo plus a host of “best” culinary categories: savory, plated dessert, bonbon, bean-to-bar, cacao and People’s Choice for Best Savory and Best Sweet.


Festival goers will judge their favorite high school booth as culinary students from Kealakehe, Kā‘u, Kea‘au and Hilo will be offering tempting chocolate-infused creations. Prizes will be awarded at the gala, plus winners will be announced for the event’s Friday college culinary competition.

Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna. Courtesy photo.

In addition to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, gala culinary participants to date include Aloha Bol and Mai Grille, Big Island Palani Bakery, Café Pesto, Chocoharte Artisserie, The Fairmont Orchid, Four Seasons Resort Hualālai, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Loko Wraps, Keolu at Hualālai Resort, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Coffee & Tea, Kona Grill House, Madre Chocolate, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Mehana Brewing Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Padovani’s Chocolates, UH-Palamanui, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, culinary students from four Big Isle high schools and Cocoa Outlet & The Chocolate Guy Hawai‘i with its signature, four-foot-tall chocolate fountain.

General admission tickets to the gala are $89 presale, $109 at the door, which will be made available online once general admission tickets sell out to ensure tickets are not completely sold out by the time attendees arrive.


Also available is the Saturday I LOVE Chocolate! all-day pass for three daytime culinary demos and the evening gala priced together at $155. Find tickets for the Friday Tequila & Chocolate pairing, daytime seminars and gala packages online.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), festival proceeds annually benefit a variety of local nonprofits. Last year’s festival awarded $27K to five community educational organizations. For 2019, there are seven beneficiaries.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.


2019 sponsors: Cacao Berry, Callebaut, The Coconut Wireless Weekly, Cocoa Outlet & The Chocolate Guy Hawai‘i, DHX, Guittard Chocolate Company, Hawai‘i Coffee Connection, Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union, Kona Business Center, Kona Brewing Company, Mehana Brewing Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Primavera Farm, Restaurantware, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, Tattoo Tequila, Valhrona Chocolate, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, The Wave@92FM and The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.

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