Submissions Being Accepted For 2016 Hawai’i Cacao Award

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, is currently seeking submissions for the “Best Hawai’i Cacao” award, a 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 per submission,  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. 

If the Kona Cacao Association receives more than three criollo variety cacao entries, they will have a separate criollo cacao award category, so farmers and growers can enter those beans, as well if they grow them. Entering multiple varieties, harvests, or ferments of cacao is encouraged.

Cacao growers need to pay the entrance fee first on the EventBrite page and then deliver the beans to Farsheed Bonakdar, Cocao Outlet, by May 11th. Beans can be dropped off with Farsheed or mailed. 

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 14th, 2016  at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Other awards being presented include:

  • Best Sweet
  • Best Savory
  • Best Bonbon
  • People’s Choice Dessert
  • People’s Choice Savory
  • 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 11, 2016.

“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 chocolate maker and board member of the Kona Cacao Association, to have helped create the first Hawai’i cacao award in 2015.  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 chocolate maker and winner of numerous awards.