Culinary Guidelines


We are currently seeking chef participants for the 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival on April 27 at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort 5-9 pm. Entry into the Chocolate Festival and competition is FREE for culinary participants. Participants are asked to provide 500 sweet and/or savory “tastes” of their chocolate creation.

We will be holding the Festival INSIDE and OUTSIDE the ballroom. Please let us know if you have a preference for space inside or out on your registration form. Requested station placement is by a first-come, first-served basis—sign up today! 

Competition Categories Judged by Celebrity Chefs:

Plated dessert     Savory

BonBon                Bean to Bar

Fermented cacao (Best Hawaiian chocolate)

In addition for 2019, the public will vote for two People’s Choice Awards: Best Savory and Best Sweet, so participants are encouraged to bring both savory and sweet entries and sign up to be judged in more than just one category.

We also have a THEME this year and there will be an award for BEST DECORATED BOOTH. Here are some ideas for depicting the 2019 theme for the Big Island Chocolate Festival:  “Black & White.”

This theme of opposites attract invites attendees to dress it up in swanky black and white attire—tuxes, plus gold & silver bling are encouraged!  Black & white is a classic color combo suggesting elegance. Black bring a sophisticated and luxurious quality to the combo, while white evokes a sense of purity and cleanliness. The work seamlessly!


And similar to the calling of racial harmony found in the Michael Jackson song, “Black or White,” gray is a mix of both colors, and so we welcome the mingling of all the grayscale shades of black and white…and thus, all the shades and flavors of chocolate.  


Culinarians are encouraged to create booths using mainly black & white, monochromatic motifs while offering cuisine showcasing dark, light and white chocolates. Think chocolate cake pops iced in white frosting with chocolate nonpareils…chocolate-coconut macarons...chocolate covered popcorn, etc.  You get the idea!  Of course, culinarians aren’t restricted to preparing only black & white cuisine,—this is just a fun suggestion. Your choice of savory and sweet creations is up to you! 


Culinary booths will be judged on their use of the Black & White theme, based on originality and incorporation of chocolate. 


Ideas for creating a Black & White booth can be found at the following links:

Culinary Participant Food Permit needed by all 2019 participants

Important! We appreciate your support for the Big Island Chocolate Festival as a chef/chocolatier participant. The Hawaii Health Department requires that each participant fill out a Temporary Food Permit which includes a booth layout form showing the hand washing area and how the food service will appear.

For questions or immediate attention please contact Farsheed Bonakdar at (808) 324-6100 or (808) 937-4736.

You will need to submit: The Culinary Participant Form (Submit Online Below), the Health Dept form which includes the Booth Layout form.

Please bring a hand-washing unit, all food serving utensils, napkins, lights, extension cords, etc., necessary to set up your booth and serve your offering.  If you are entering the competition, you will need four plated entries for the judges.

The organizers will pay for your $25 application fee. Please print out the Food Permit , complete it and fax them back to 808-324-6200 by April 10, 2019. The earlier you submit the better for us to do advance marketing for you and the Festival. Thank you for taking time to do this so our event runs smoothly and legally.

Culinary Participant Form for information about chef registration for 2019. (Download PDF)