Earlier this month, nearly five years since Hurricane Neki caused minor damage to the northwestern Hawaiian islands, it appeared that America’s 50th state was going to be hit by two hurricanes, one right after the other.
Fortunately, Hurricane Iselle ended up doing only minor structural damage, primarily due to flooding. Even more fortunately, Hurricane Julio missed the islands entirely. All told, the damage tab was about $53 million, the major victim being the papaya crop.
It could have been a whole lot worse.
Obviously, the main concern when a hurricane hits is public safety and, sadly, one person did lose their life due to flooding on Kauai. Once that threat subsided, I began to wonder about an event scheduled in Hawaii, August 29-September 7: the 4th annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.
So I checked with event organizers last week, and the news is good: The festival is a go.
Here is how the event is described on the festival’s website:
The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. Set in the lush island paradise of Hawaii, our Festival features a roster of over 80 internationally-renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers.
Co-founded by two of Hawaii’s own James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Festival in Hawaii Island, Maui, Honolulu, and Ko Olina Resort will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry.
Sounds pretty good to me — but then, do we really need an excuse to dream about visiting Hawaii?
If you’re not familiar with the aforementioned chefs, here is a little bio material, also courtesy of the event’s website:
- Roy Yamaguchi is the creator of “Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine,” a combination of exotic flavors and spices mixed with the freshest of local ingredients, always with an emphasis on seafood. Born in Tokyo, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and opened his first Roy’s in Hawaii in 1988. The restaurant was soon dubbed the “crown jewel of Honolulu’s East-West eateries” by Food & Wine and added to the Condé Nast Traveler Top 50 list. There are now 32 Roy’s in Hawaii, the continental United States, Japan and Guam.
- Alan Wong has made a name for himself internationally with his marriage of ethnic-cooking styles featuring the finest island-grown ingredients, creating local dishes with a contemporary twist. He was one of 10 chefs in the United States nominated by the Wedgewood Awards for the title of World Master of Culinary Arts. Bon Appétit has recognized him as the “Master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine,” and Alan Wong’s Restaurant has been ranked by Gourmet twice. It is also the only restaurant in Honolulu that appears on the Top 10 of America’s Best 50 Restaurants.
Reality television obviously has had an influence on the organizers of the festival, as one of the planned events is the “Halekulani Master Chefs Gala Series,” which will see “six of the world’s finest executive chefs compete in a lavish six-course plate-up.” Also planned is a “Battle of the Brunch Showdown.”
The various events are individually ticketed, and packages also are available. For ticket information, click here: http://hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com/tickets