Hawaii Food and Wine Festival takes culinary travelers on delicious adventure


HONOLULU, Hawaii – Culinary travelers seeking an inspiring adventure that offers a distinct sense of place, unforgettable food and wine experiences, and features more than 70 of the world’s best-known chefs all using the freshest island ingredients will find the Hawaiian islands their destination of choice this fall.

The 3rd Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) set for September 1-9, 2013, is the premier epicurean gathering in the Pacific and this year’s festival is bigger and better than ever. With five signature evening events and educational daytime culinary experiences on both Oahu and Maui, the festival comes to life with a “who’s who” of internationally acclaimed master chefs, four master sommeliers, five mixologists, and more than ten top-tier winemakers from Hawaii, the mainland U.S., Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, and Australia.

Tickets are now on sale on the HFWF’s official website at HawaiiFoodandWineFestival.com .

New chefs this year include Grant Achatz of Alinea (Chicago), Art Smith of Table fifty-two (Chicago), Chris Cosentino of Incanto (San Francisco), Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica (Los Angeles), Anita Lo of Annisa (New York), Floyd Cardoz of North End Grill (New York), Chris Kajioka of Vintage Cave (Honolulu), and Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle (Maui).

Founded in 2011 and co-chaired by Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, two of Hawaii’s own James Beard award-winning chefs, the festival has grown immensely and achieved sold-out attendance at each event. Building on this success, HFWF has added a signature event on Maui that will enhance the festival’s overall experience.

“In partnership with the tourism industry, we created this festival to give travelers to Hawaii and residents alike an exciting and educational food festival featuring great chefs, winemakers, and event experiences that really capture the essence of the islands,” Yamaguchi said. “Our participants are required to use local ingredients found here in the Hawaiian Islands in the creation of their dishes. It’s a key element that sets our event apart from others across the country.”

Each participant will showcase their culinary talents using the Aloha State’s enviable bounty of locally sourced produce, seafood, beef and poultry, and offer innovative dishes inspired by the diverse culinary and cultural traditions of Hawaii.

Returning chefs include “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto Waikiki (Honolulu), Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu Waikiki (Honolulu), Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger (Wellesley, Mass.), Charles Phan of The Slanted Door (San Francisco), Hubert Keller of Fleur de Lys (San Francisco), Nancy Silverton of Mozza (Los Angeles), Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar (New York), Celestino Drago of Drago Restaurant Group (Los Angeles), George Mavrothalassitis of Chef Mavro (Honolulu), Chai Chaowasaree of Chef Chai (Honolulu), and Ed Kenney of Town (Honolulu).

This year’s festival will also feature an impressive lineup of wine seminars featuring some of the top producers from California, including Harlan Estate, Rivers-Marie, Aston, Brewer-Clifton, and Au Bon Climat. In addition to wine tastings, there will be daytime and evening events that include cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities on Maui at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali and on Oahu at The Modern Honolulu, Halekulani, Ko Olina Resort with Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa and JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, Hawaii Convention Center, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, and Heeia Ahupuaa.

“The festival gives guest chefs, visitors and residents a unique opportunity to connect through food and culture,” added Alan Wong, HFWF co-chair and chef/owner of Alan Wong’s Restaurants. “In addition to showcasing our evolving culinary scene, together we are planting the seed for future generations of Hawaii farmers and chefs.”

As a result of the festival’s success over the past two years, the HFWF has been able to fulfill its equally important mission of providing its beneficiaries nearly US$500,000 in funding to support their food sustainability, cultural, and educational efforts. This year’s beneficiaries include the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Leeward Community College Culinary Program, Paepae o Heeia, Papahana Kuaola, Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation, Maui Culinary Academy, and Maui County Farm Bureau.

Please check the HFWF website for a complete listing of daytime and evening events. Highlights of this year’s five signature events follow:

Sunday, September 1, 2013
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival Presents: Malama Maui
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa – Kaanapali, Maui

Under the stars along Maui’s renowned Kaanapali Beach, the “Malama Maui” gala will provide an unforgettable evening of delicious food and incredible wines. Attendees will enjoy reserved seating and savor a culinary tour produced by each chef and highlighting Maui grown products. The event runs from 6-10 p.m. Tickets start at US$250 per person.

Featured chefs include:

Bev Gannon, Bev Gannon Restaurants – Wailea, Maui
Gregory Grohowski, Hyatt Regency Maui – Kaanapali, Maui
Hiroyuki Sakai, La Rochelle – Tokyo, Japan
Sheldon Simeon, Star Noodle – Lahaina, Maui
Rick Tramonto, Tramonto Steak & Seafood – Wheeling, Ill.
Marcel Vigneron, Modern Global Tasting, Inc. – Los Angeles

Thursday, September 5, 2013
Hawaiian Airlines Presents: Under the Modern Moon: Morimoto & Friends
The Modern Honolulu – Honolulu, Oahu

Building on Hawaii’s unique East Meets West location, guests will savor provocative dishes prepared by 15 esteemed national and international chefs from Asia and the Pacific, led by “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. Tickets start at US$200 per person.

Featured chefs include:

Marco Anzani, Anzani – Cebu, Philippines
Floyd Cardoz, North End Grill – New York
Chai Chaowasaree, Chef Chai – Honolulu, Oahu
Lucia Cho, BICENA – Korea
Stanton Ho, Stanton Ho Pastry – Las Vegas
Amber Lin, Foodie Amber – Taipei, Taiwan
Anita Lo, Annisa – New York
Roger Meier, Honolulu Coffee Co. – Honolulu, Oahu
Masaharu Morimoto, Morimoto Waikiki – Honolulu, Oahu
Bryant Ng, The Spice Table – Los Angeles
Charles Phan, The Slanted Door – San Francisco
Scott Toner, The Modern Honolulu – Honolulu, Oahu
Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar – New York
Yuji Wakiya, Wakiya – Tokyo, Japan
Eric Ziebold, CityZen – Washington, DC

Friday, September 6, 2013
Third Annual Halekulani Master Chefs Gala Series: Around the World with Seven Chefs
Halekulani – Honolulu, Oahu

Master chefs and top sommeliers will “wow” food lovers during an evening of elegant fine dining, with a lavish seven-course meal and extraordinary wine pairings. The event runs from 6-10 p.m. Tickets start at US$1,000 per person with reserved seating in the Ballroom.

Featured chefs include:

Grant Achatz, Alinea Restaurant – Chicago
Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn – San Francisco
Vikram Garg, Halekulani – Honolulu, Oahu
Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys – San Francisco
Nobu Matsuhisa, Nobu Waikiki – Honolulu, Oahu
Tetsuya Wakuda, Tetsuya – Sydney, Australia
Sherry Yard, Helms Bakery – Los Angeles

Saturday, September 7, 2013
Taste our Love for the Land
Hawaii Convention Center – Honolulu, Oahu

Paying tribute to the abundance of local ingredients available in Hawaii, this event will showcase Hawaii’s sustainable future with 18 celebrity chefs, many of whom are notable for promoting “farm to table” sustainable sourcing and cooking practices. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. and tickets start at US$200 per person.

Featured chefs include:

Ippy Aiona, Three Fat Pigs – Waikoloa, Hawaii Island
Keoni Chang, Foodland Super Markets, Ltd. – Honolulu, Oahu
Chris Cosentino, Incanto – San Francisco
Stephen Durfee, Culinary Institute of America – St. Helena, California
Mark Freischmidt, Halekulani – Honolulu, Oahu
Chris Kajioka, Vintage Cave – Honolulu, Oahu
Ed Kenney, TOWN – Honolulu, Oahu
Mourad Lahlou, Aziza – San Francisco
Jon Matsubara, Azure – Honolulu, Oahu
George Mavrothalassitis, Chef Mavro – Honolulu, Oahu
Russell Moore, Camino – Oakland, California
Mark Noguchi, Taste – Honolulu, Oahu
Sheldon Simeon, Star Noodle – Lahaina, Maui
Art Smith, Table fifty-two – Chicago
Hiro Sone, Terra Restaurant – St. Helena, California
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto – New York
Sang Yoon, Lukshon – Los Angeles
Toshi Yoroizuka, Toshi Yoroizuka – Tokyo, Japan

Sunday, September 8, 2013
Savory Ever After
Ko Olina Resort featuring Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa and JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa – Ko Olina, Oahu

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival finale will be held on the beach, in the sand as the sun sets along Oahu’s western coastline. Fourteen world-renowned chefs will create a culinary tour of ethnic foods from around the world using local produce and products. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. on the lagoon fronting Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, and JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, and will end with a dazzling fireworks display. Tickets start at US$200 per person.

Featured chefs include:

Kevin Chong, AMAAMA – Ko Olina, Oahu
Josiah Citrin, Mélisse – Santa Monica, Calif.
Celestino Drago, Drago Restaurant Group – Los Angeles
Dean Fearing, Fearing’s – Dallas
Michael Ginor, Hudson Valley Foie Gras – New York
Scott Higa, JW Marriott Ihilani – Ko Olina, Oahu
Michelle Karr-Ueoka, Alan Wong’s – Honolulu, Oahu
Raphael Lunetta, JiRaffe – Santa Monica, California
Elizabeth McDonald, Honu Seafood & Pizza – Lahaina, Maui
Richard Rosendale, The Greenbrier Resort – White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Nancy Silverton, Mozza – Los Angeles
Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose – Anaheim, California
Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger – Wellesley, Masschusetts
Ricardo Zarate, Mo-Chica – Los Angeles

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit HawaiiFoodandWineFestival.com or follow the festival on Twitter/Instagram (@HIFoodWineFest) and Facebook (facebook.com/hawaiifoodandwinefestival) for updates.