The gala for the 2017 Big Island Chocolate Festival drew dessert lovers and gourmands to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.
THE PARTY Over 600 revelers turned out for the most tasteful affair of the season on the Kohala Coast: the gala for Big Island Chocolate Festival, the finale of two days of culinary competition. THE GUESTS Visiting and island toques like chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company and chef Alicia Boada of Cacao Barry joined noteworthy chocolatiers like Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate. THE HIGHLIGHTS Undoubtedly, the bounty of chocolate creations delighted happy attendees, who later gave the People’s Choice Awards to chef Alan Heap of Huggo’s for best savory and Guittard for best sweet. Judges presented prizes to chefs Dayne Tanabe and Eddie Enojardo of Hilton Waikoloa Village, among several others. Of course, the soiree closed on an especially delightful finish. Proceeds from the fete benefited four deserving nonprofits: Kona Kohala Chefs Association, Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Kona Pacific Public Charter School and Waimea Country School’s Nā Keiki Aloha ‘Āina. -Kai Andersen
Photos by Kirk Lee Aeder