When you think of the Big Island of Hawai’i, you think of coffee. A different bean is taking hold in the largest agricultural district in Hawai’i and it’s chocolate.
Most people don’t need much of a reason to head to the Big Island, yet the 5th annual Big Island Chocolate Festival sweetens the reasons. If you love chocolate, then heading to the Kohala Coast May 13-14 will give you seminars and activities rich in the taste of chocolate.
This year’s festival will be extra hot as the festival coincides with the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Centennial. Culinary displays will be judged on how they best depict the event theme that includes the Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. Expect an anything-goes chocolate interpretation of biology, geology, and culture that defines the 333,086-acre national park.
And if that wasn’t enough focus on the lava of the cacao, culinary creations will also be jockeying for awards in many categories judged by a celebrity chefs including “best” bonbon, savory, bean-to-bar, plated dessert and Hawaiian cacao. Attendees can get in on the voting by casting a ballot for two People’s Choice Awards: Best Savory and Best Sweet. Also included in the two-day event are wines, handcrafted beers, chocolate body painting and continuous entertainment.
The two-day chocolate event features a cacao plantation tour at the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a college culinary competition and various public foodie and agriculture-themed seminars.
On Saturday, May 14 the event blasts off with a bevy of sweet and tasty culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers, and confectioners. Get upwardly mobile with the gala, including reserved table seating, chocolate inspired dishes paired with specialty wines.
While you can stay anywhere on the Kohala Coast, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is the host hotel, so special rates are in effect for attendees. You get a classic Hawaiian resort experience with golf, beaches and all you can do on the Big Island. Plus, two days of chocolate. Now that is a sweet vacation option.