New Cacao Award Announced for 2015

CacaoFermentationIn keeping with the mission to assist the “growth of the cacao industry in Hawai’i” the Kona Cacao Association, the non-profit behind the Big Island Chocolate Festival, announces a new award, “Best Hawai’i Cacao” for  the winner of the Hawai’i cacao growing and fermentation contest.  Any Hawai’i cacao grower who would like to enter the competition can do so with a pound of fermented cacao beans, an entry fee of $20, a photo of themselves near their Hawai’i cacao tree and a brief bio.

Members of the Kona Cacao Association may enter for free. Learn more about membership. 

A panel of expert judges will decide the winner, who will be named during the Big Island Chocolate Festival awards presentation 7:30 p.m. Saturday May 9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Other awards being presented include:

  • Best Sweet
  • Best Savory
  • Best Bonbon
  • People’s Choice
  • Best “Bean to Bar”
  • First, Second and Third Place Culinary Student Competitio

If you are a Hawaiian cacao grower, we encourage you to enter the contest and we will email you more information about where to ship your fermented beans. All entries must be in by May 6, 2015.

“I have been working with Nat Bletter, the Kona Cacao Association Board of Directors, other Hawai’i chocolate makers and growers to significantly enhance the public’s knowledge of the special nature of the cacao grown here in Hawaii. We are excited to produce this award to encourage cacao farmers to compete and help us bring attention to what we consider some of the best cacao in the world,” stated Farsheed Bonakdar, owner of Cocoa Outlet and president of the Kona Cacao Association.
“I am thrilled as a Hawai’i chocolatier and board member of the Kona Cacao Association, to help create the first Hawai’i cacao award. Just last year Hawai’i cacao was awarded its first international chocolate award and the Maunawili cacao was given the first ever heirloom cacao designation outside of Latin America. The time is right for Hawai’i cacao to obtain more exposure and this competition will jump start a great future ahead for our growers,” stated Nat Bletter, co-owner of Madre Chocolate a “bean to bar” Hawai’i chocolatier and winner of numerous awards.