Representatives of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) presented checks to 10 nonprofit beneficiaries totaling $228,500 on November 22 in a special presentation at Halekulani Hotel. Since its inception in 2011, HFWF has raised nearly $700,000 for local nonprofit organizations.
The net proceeds raised during the third annual festival held in September on the islands of Oahu and Maui went to the Culinary Institute of the Pacific ($80,000), Hawaii Agricultural Foundation ($70,000), Maui County Farm Bureau ($20,000), Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program ($20,000), Paepae o Heeia ($10,000), Papahana Kuaola ($10,000), Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation ($7,500), Maui Culinary Academy ($5,000), and Hawaii Seafood Council ($5,000). In addition, HFWF will donate $1,000 to The Ocean Institute in memory of Rick Hadley, an early supporter who shared the festival’s vision of food sustainability in Hawaii.
Hawaii visitor industry representatives, along with HFWF co-chairs and chefs Roy Yamaguchi, owner of Roy’s Restaurants and Alan Wong, owner of Alan Wong’s Restaurants, presented the checks and thanked the festival’s partners and participants for collaborating and growing the event, making this year’s sold-out festival the largest and most successful yet.
“We are honored and humbled to give residents and visitors alike a world-class epicurean event inspired by the diverse culinary and cultural traditions of the Hawaiian Islands,” said Yamaguchi in a written release. “Together with the visitor industry and local community, it’s exciting to help elevate Hawaii as a culinary destination while continuing to support our important beneficiaries."
Through the industry’s efforts in 2013, more than 5,000 Hawaii residents and visitors from around the world enjoyed attending 17 events at eight venues on Oahu and Maui featuring more than 75 internationally acclaimed chefs, 50 farmers, 20 winemakers, ten mixologists, a sake brewer, and a brewmaster from Hawaii, the mainland U.S., Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Australia.
These chefs, farmers, food producers, and culinary innovators shared their expertise and skills with more than 250 culinary students from Kapiolani Community College, Leeward Community College, Maui College, and Kauai Community College. The culinary students received the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work alongside some of the most respected names in the industry.