Chef and Co-founder and Co-chair of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival Alan Wong joined the Living808 team for a preview of the big event starting at the end of October.

“Chef Roy and I were part of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement some 30 years ago which celebrated Hawai‘i’s  diverse cuisines, culinary talents and local agriculture. In 2011, we founded the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival with the mission to spotlight Hawai‘i as a culinary destination, highlighting our local agriculture and supporting local culinary talent. Now in its 12th year, the festival has grown into the premiere culinary destination event of the Pacific, featuring over 125 chefs, winemakers, mixologists and culinary and beverage professionals for three weekends of events across three islands.”

The festival has 15 events planned across Maui, Hawaii Island, and Oahu and Chef says there will be some new additions.

“We’re back to a full festival lineup with walk-around grand tastings, wine-paired dinners, wine seminars and some interactive classes for keiki and adults.  New to Maui is our 5-course dinner at Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows—Stars, Beards & Diamonds featuring Michelin-starred, James Beard Award and AAA Diamond chefs.  Then, we host the first HFWF grand tasting on the Island of Hawai‘i at Mauna Kea Beach Resort—Bourbon, Brews & BBQ, followed by my favorite—Cuisines of the Sun at CanoeHouse at Mauna Lani which is an event I started 30 years ago and is already SOLD OUT! 

But we have many opportunities to join us on O‘ahu.  For the cocktail-lover, we’ve got Momo & The Tiger at ‘Alohilani and our afterparty at Hyatt Waikiki—Friends with Cocktails.  This year our signature 20 chef & 20 winemaker grand tasting at the Hawai‘i Convention Center is back and vino enthusiasts will love Hawaiian Airlines Presents On Cloud Wine. Our interactive, hands-on classes include HMAA Presents Keiki in the Kitchen with Chef Roy Yamaguchi for kids 5+ up. For the wine & cheese enthusiast, Say Cheese: Crafting Charcuterie Boards will teach you how to make picture perfect cheese boards and pair wines for your next diner party. We’re also excited to bring back our popular drag brunch at Blue Note Hawaii featuring Honolulu’s best drag performers—The Party Monsters—at Bacardi Presents Cheers & Queers.”

Also joining the team was the Executive Chef of Bar Maze, Ki Chung who is participating for the first time.

“Embracing the festival’s mission to spotlight Hawaiʻi’s agricultural bounty, my dish will feature Hawaiian Kanpachi, baked in a salt dough with a shirodashi butter sauce, ogo and radish…with reservations at Bar Māze usually booked well in advance, we’re excited to cook for those who haven’t had the opportunity to come to the bar yet!  I’ll be joined by fellow local chefs Sheldon Simeon of Tin Roof & Tiffany’s in Maui and Jeff Szombaty at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. In addition, chef Esther Choi of Mokbar—most recently seen on Netflix’s Iron Chef series—and Ria Dolly Barbosa of Petite Peso are also bringing their A game to the afterparty. Plus, we can’t forget about the cocktail part of this event—six master mixologists from New York and Washington D.C. to San Francisco and Hawai‘i will be sharing their craft cocktail creations to pair with our dishes.”

And Chef Wong announced the ‘Ultimate Hawaii Food and Wine Experience’ – the Sip & Swirl Sweepstakes a over $8000 prize package which includes: 160,000 HawaiianMiles, four nights in an ocean view room at Prince Waikiki, 2 Priority Access Tickets to Hawaiian Airlines Presents On Cloud Wine, 2 Tickets to the Say Cheese: Crafting Charcuterie Boards class and $150 gift card plus gift basket from Honolulu Coffee. The sweepstakes end tomorrow September 27th so you still have one day remaining to win this special giveaway.  All you have to do is visit hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.