2015 Big Island Chocolate Festival Comes to the Fairmont Orchid Next Month
When the foodie in me heard that the 4th annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is coming to the Fairmont Orchid, May 7-9, I couldn’t help but to ask where I sign up!
Schedule of Events
Showcasing chocolate from tree to treat, the Big Island Chocolate Festival is being presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc (KCA). The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry here on the Big Island by presenting this festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry, and cacao enthusiasts (like myself).
From this…to this
The two-day chocolate spectacular includes a Big Isle cacao farm tour, a student competition, and public culinary and agriculture-themed seminars.
On Thursday, May 7th, from 5-9 pm we are able to attend the first annual “Chocolate Soiree” with a seven course “Farm to Fork” chocolate themed dinner being served at the Kokoleka Lani cacao farm in Holualoa. Tickets are $125 and include a dinner presented by The Feeding Leaf, to include a variety of fine wines, themed cocktails, a seven course menu created by several chefs, including celebrity chef Stanton Ho.
The dinner will be held overlooking a working cacao farm where guests will be treated to a short tour and opportunity to speak with farm owners Greg Colden and Marty Corrigan, who are also owners of the Kona Natural Soap Company. Tickets are available online starting March 31st.
On Friday, May 8th, public culinary demonstrations and agriculture-themed seminars will be held at the Fairmont Orchid. You can attend all three demonstrations for $75, or individual demonstrations for $30 each. Tickets for the whole package of demonstrations can be purchased online, or individually at the door.
On Saturday, May 9th from 9-11 am, we have the opportunity to see how cacao is grown, cultivated, and used as a value added product (as well as for roasted cacao nibs), by attending a cacao farm tour at the Kokoleka Lani Farm. Tickets are $25 and include a full farm tour, a tour of the Kona Natural Soap Company, and a complimentary gift. Tickets are available online for this event as well.
Chocolate cheesecake and coffee brew
Also being held on Saturday morning, May 9th from 9 am-1 pm is an island-wide student competition at the Fairmont Orchid. Culinary students from a variety of junior colleges will compete for best plated dessert. This competition will be judged by top Valrhona USA chef Derek Poirer and celebrity pastry chef Stanton Ho.
During the festival gala in the evening of Saturday, May 9th, 5:30-9:00pm, we can enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers, and confectioners! Culinary stations will be competing for awards in a variety of categories to be judged by a panel of celebrity chefs.
Attendees can even get in on friendly voting by casting a ballot for the “People’s Choice Award.” There will also be fine wines and handcrafted ales on tap, chocolate sculptures, chocolate body painting, live entertainment, dancing, and a silent auction. General admission tickets to the gala are $75. VIP tickets are $100 and include early event access at 5pm, and table seating and specialty wines.
Westside Wines! Mahalo for the excellent selection!
All event proceeds will benefit the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawaii Community College – Palamanui and a capital campaign to build a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.