One of the most fun - and tastiest – food festivals on the Big Island is happening later this month when the Big Island Chocolate Festival takes place April 28-29 with culinary workshops and a gala at the Hapuna Prince Hotel and farm tours in Kona.
On Friday, April 28 you can tour cacao farms in Kona and see how chocolate is grown right here on island. There are also informative workshops on growing your own chocolate, covering everything from cacao bean to finished chocolate bar. If you like to cook, you’ll want to check out the cooking demonstrations taking place on Saturday, April 29. This festival brings some of the top pastry chefs and chocolatiers in the world to the Big Island to demonstrate how to prepare chocolate confections in a variety of workshops.
I have to say, my favorite part of the chocolate festival is the big gala held Saturday, April 29, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hapuna Prince Hotel grand ballroom. Chefs, chocolatiers, and confectioners really go all out showcasing their decadent creations. Come hungry because this is more than just dessert! There are lots of savory chocolate dishes to enjoy too. What I love about the Big Island Chocolate Festival (in addition to the great food of course) is that you get to meet the chefs that created the dishes as well as the farmers and food producers that create locally made products.
And did I mention the delicious chocolate themed cocktails plus fine wines and handcrafted ales available at the gala? Other festivities during the gala include chocolate body painting, live entertainment and a silent auction.
Now in its sixth year, the Big Island Chocolate Festival grows in popularity every year with the chefs trying to outdo each other. It is a really fun time and it is also for a good cause. Sponsored by the Kona Cacao Association, festival proceeds benefit the American Culinary Foundation, Kona Kohala Chefs Association, Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Kona Pacific Public Charter School, and Waimea Country School’s Na Keiki Aloha ‘Aina.
For a complete rundown of farm tours, culinary workshops, and festival info or to buy tickets online, go to www. BigIslandChocolateFestival.com . Special room/ticket packages for two start at $385 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and can be conveniently booked at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/buy-tickets/. See you there!