We have gotten a few questions from the public about the Chocolate Festival and want to answer some here for the benefit of all:
- What is the dress code? Women sometimes take this opportunity to really dress up and go for it! Where else are you wearing heels on the Big Island? However, keep in mind this year, part of the event is outside on the lawn. Heels and grass sometimes don’t work together, but it IS Hawaii and carrying your shoes to give your feet a break is not frowned upon! Men are fine in nice resort wear.
- Where do I park? You can use Valet to park your car or park in the hotel garage. PARKING IS FREE FOR ATTENDEES! The ballroom is on the 8th floor and when you are coming out of the elevator on the 8th floor from the parking garage, the doors open up to the event!
- Can I get there early to check in? Yes! VIP ticket holders can check in by 4:30 and they are allowed in by 5 pm to start eating and drinking. General admission ticket holders can arrive early, get their wrist bands on and enjoy the view of the ocean from a large balcony nearby while waiting for the Hawaiian blessing performed by Kumu Keala Ching. After the blessing, the doors will be open to everyone to enjoy all the food and beverages as part of your ticket. If you would like to enjoy a beverage before the doors open, there IS an outdoor no-host bar available to our guests starting at 4:30.
- Is there something to eat beyond chocolate desserts? YES! We are excited to have the help of Habanero’s this year in creating a spicy Mole bar (Moles come in various flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. However, the classic mole version is the variety called mole poblano, which is a dark red or brown sauce served over meat. The dish has become a culinary symbol of Mexico’s mestizaje, or mixed indigenous and European heritage, both for the types of ingredients it contains, as well as the legends surrounding its origin.) We will also have a salad bar with fresh locally grown lettuce and vegetables from Adaptation’s. We also have many resorts offering both savory and sweet tastings for your enjoyment!
- What is NEW this year? We are partnering with the National Park Service on its Centennial celebration and featuring Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park along with the celebration. In doing so, we have encouraged our culinary participants to decorate their booths with a volcano, lava, park theme! Judges from both Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and the NPS will choose best decorated booth and provide awards. To get into the spirit of LAVALICIOUS our theme this year, Chef Donald Wressel from Guittard Chocolates, will be creating the largest chocolate sculpture of a volcano in Hawaii! He will build the sculpture throughout the evening for everyone’s enjoyment. We are also, for the first time, having an indoor/outdoor event with ten culinary stations outside on the lawn and the Mole station and salad bar outside of the ballroom.
- Can I dance? YES! We have the Tomi Isobe Band featuring Danny Taylor as our entertainment after 7:30 pm playing blues, jazz, funk and contemporary. We also have Danny Taylor spinning some DJ dance music to the requests from the crowd.
- Are the cooking demonstrations and workshops included in the general admission ticket price? No. Those events are ticketed separately. Three internationally recognized chefs will be leading culinary cooking demonstrations and chocolate tasting workshops on Saturday from 9:30 am- 2 pm. Cost is $75 for all three or $35 each.
- Can I buy tickets at the door? There will be 50 tickets available at the door for $100 starting at 4:30 pm.
- Are Children Welcome? This is primarily an adult event. We do not have child priced tickets, but if you pay full price, your child is welcome to attend.