Fifth Food and Wine Festival Starts Saturday

Photo by Kanu Hawaii

The state’s biggest celebration of food and drink, mixing local specialties with internationally adored dishes and flavors, is expected to draw over 10,000 attendees across twenty one events over nine days this year.

The fifth annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, co-founded by renown island chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, is expected to be the biggest yet, featuring more than 100 internationally-renowned chefs and culinary stars (including sommeliers and winemakers) at events on Hawaii Island, Maui, and Oahu.

hifoodwinefest-2In fact, the festival’s kickoff event on Hawaii Island on Saturday, featuring seven chefs preparing six courses at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, is already sold out (despite ticket prices starting at $250 per person).

The program then moves to Maui, where festival events now span three days, starting with a golf tournament on Friday, Sept. 4. The following day brings three more events: a “Grown on Maui” farmers’ market at Whaler’s Village, a “Moscow Mule Maui Style” mixology seminar at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort, and the island’s first signature event, “Maui On My Mind” that night at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.

World famous chef Shep Gordon will headline Maui’s second signature event on Sunday, Sept. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Maui.

Finally, the program moves to Oahu for an urban luau in Kakaako and a “Caviar & Campagne” seminar at the Halekulani on Wednesday, Sept. 9, with something happening every day through Sunday, Sept. 13.

Honolulu highlights include the Halekulani Culinary Master’s Gala (priced at a reasonable $1,000 per person) on Friday, Sept. 11, the “Corks & Forks” (featuring feature twenty red wines from the Pacific Coast) at the Hawaii Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 12, and the finale, “Beauty and the Feast” at Ko Olina on Sunday, Sept. 13.

hifoodwinefestThe festival is more than an opportunity to eat fancy food prepared by famous people, however. It’s also a showcase of “the bounty of fresh ingredients and produce sourced from local farmers, fishermen, and purveyors.” And most of its events are also fundraisers for Hawaii nonprofits focused on sustainability, culture, and education.

The 2012 festival, held only on Oahu, raised $210,000 for five organizations. With the event expanded to Maui in 2013, the festival raised $228,500, spread among ten beneficiary groups. Last year added Hawaii Island to the mix, raising $254,300 to benefit 14 local nonprofits.

This year’s festival will support the Hawaii Agriculture Foundation, Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Seafood Council, Honolulu Zoo Society, Maui County Farm Bureau, Maui Culinary Academy, the Culinary Arts Program at Hawaii Community College, the Culinary Program at Leeward Community College, Paepae o He‘eia, and Papahana Kuaola.

Tickets to the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival have been available since April, but with things kicking off this weekend, more events are likely to sell out. For more information, visit, connect with the festival on Twitter at @HIFoodWineFest, Instagram at @HIFoodWineFest, or the official Facebook page.

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