Satiate Your Chocolate Desires at the Big Island Chocolate Festival!

ValrhonaTastingStationAre you ready for the fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival being held from May 7-9 on the Big Island of Hawai‘i?

We have created an amazing array of exciting, tasty, elegant and educational tours, seminars, culinary adventures and events for 2015. From dining under the stars with a 7 course meal, to mingling with chocolate enthusiasts from around the islands and mainland, we have a great time in store for all.

On Thursday May 7th 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, a few miles south of Kailua Kona from 5-9 pm. Tickets are $125 and include a variety of fine wines, themed cocktails, a seven course menu created by several chefs, including celebrity chef Stanton Ho, who will also be judging the culinary booths at the Festival gala. The dinner will be held over looking a working cacao farm, where guests will be treated to a short tour and chance to talk story with the farm owners, Greg Colden and Marty Corrigan, also owners of the Kona Natural Soap Company. The dinner is being presented by The Feeding Leaf. Tickets are available online on March 31st.

GregColdenDemoOn Friday, May 8th, public culinary demonstrations and agriculture-themed seminars will be held at the Fairmont Orchid. Attend all three demonstrations for $75 or individually for $30. Buy the full package on our our ticket page or pay at the door individually.

On Saturday from 9 -11 am,  see how cacao is grown, cultivated and used as a value added product, as well as for roasted cacao nibs, attend 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 on our ticket page.

An island-wide student competition will also be held on Saturday morning May 9th from 9 am-1 pm at the Fairmont Orchid where culinary students MauiStudentsJaquesfrom 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.

Activities culminate 5:30-9 p.m. on Saturday May 9 with the festival gala in the Grand Ballroom at the Fairmont Orchid. EPadovaniChocolatenjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners.

General admission tickets to the gala are $75.  VIP tickets are $100 and include early event access at 5 p.m., table seating and specialty wines. Purchase now before they sell out!

Culinary stations will be vying for awards in a variety of categories judged by a panel of celebrity chefs. Attendees can get in on the friendly voting by casting a ballot for the People’s Choice Award.

Also on tap will be fine wines, handcrafted ales, Bacardi cocktails, chocolate sculptures, chocolate body painting, a photo booth,  live entertainment, dancing and a silentFairmontSavory auction.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and a capital campaign to build a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

“The Big Island Chocolate Festival offers everything from planting to plating,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar. “It inspires our student and professional chefs while encouraging our island cacao farmers and chocolatiers.”

Tickets are available online or at Kiernan Music in downtown Kainiliu,  West Side Wines in the Kopiko Shopping Center near downtown Kona, in Hilo at Basically Books. Special room rates of $299 including breakfast for two are being offered by the Fairmont Orchid. For accommodations, book with the hotel at 808-885-2000 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

 West Hawaii Community College Culinary Students posing after Culinary Competition with celebrity and guest judges. WestsideCulinary3