The Food and Wine Convergence: Chefs and Somms Meet for Hawaii’s Biggest Annual Food and Wine Festival

Does your ideal vacation entail sipping wine on the tropical shores of a beautiful Pacific Island, with picturesque scenery and world-class cuisine? Hawaii may have just the festival for you. The Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival, now in its seventh year, is a preeminent epicurean destination event definitely worth exploration. Celebrity chefs, prestigious vineyards and skillful mixologists collide in a melange of flavor and excitement. This is unequivocally the most impressive and renowned food and wine event in the state.

Given the festival’s prodigious reputation, it is difficult to fathom that nearly a decade ago Hawaii did not have a major wine event. A small band of food professionals and enthusiasts, including local celebrity chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, sought to remedy those unfortunate circumstances. The result is a festival spanning three islands and featuring over 100 esteemed master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine producers in an accord of culinary traditions and experiences that are certain to impress any palate. With significant support and momentum, the festival now dazzles attendees at some of the most beautiful locations Hawaii has to offer. Luxury and style meet for the ultimate food and wine experience.

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The Eggnog-Malasadas Amalgamation: A Match Made in Paradise

Christmastime is here. Chaos has commenced. While there is a dollop of happiness and cheer, most of us experience anxiety levels rise to troublesome levels. Malls are gridlocked with frantic patrons finalizing their holiday lists. Christmas pageants, school recitals and office parties fill an already brimming schedule. Family gatherings are ... well ... filled with family. Feuds are foreordained.

In a season indelibly marked with stress and busyness, we can all relate at times to Charlie Brown's holiday melancholy monologues. But we have an effective countermeasure that poor Charlie Brown did not: alcohol.

This season, assuage the holiday anxiety with a remedy of equal potency. Crack a few eggs, break out the liquor, and mix up a batch of the quintessential Christmas beverage: eggnog. Looking for a pairing partner for your nog? Hawaii has the perfect sweet companion. So grab a glass and read on!

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Finding the Mele in Kalikimaka: Hawaiian Christmas Music and Wine Pairings

Thanksgiving is officially in the books and the Christmas madness is in high gear. In every store and street corner, one must fight the bevy of busy patrons procuring their holiday treats, trees and trinkets. Stressed and overwhelmed? My reliable method of relaxation during this bustling holiday season is the strategic alliance of a refreshing vinous beverage and festive Christmas tunes.

In this post, I briefly ponder the fascinating musical heritage of Hawaii, while recommending a few wine and Christmas album pairings that will help you to celebrate the season in [Hawaiian] style. Fear not; we have many more options from which to choose than Mele Kalikimaka.

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The Wine Blog Amplification: New Friends and Wine Conference Musings

A belated but very happy Thanksgiving greeting to my loyal and wonderful readership. In this season, I am extraordinarily grateful for you, my readers: for your enthusiasm in reading my blog and for tolerating my dry Irish wit, wonkish tendencies and nonsensical banter. Thanks for journeying with me.

My recent mainland sojourn brought me to the annual Wine Bloggers Conference, held this year in the Northern California town of Santa Rosa. A weekend of wine, blogger training and best of all, fellow wine enthusiasts! I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with like-minded bloggers who share my passion for food, wine and storytelling. And now I want to share their writings with you! This post introduces a few of my favorites.

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The Ho-Lee Alliance: Ho Farms and The Pig & the Lady Present a New Farm-to-Table Paradigm

The Pig & the Lady, located in Honolulu’s Chinatown district, has developed a steadfast following for its unique Vietnamese-inspired menu, whimsical personality and family narrative. Chef de cuisine Keaka Lee has elevated the original concept with elegant fusion dishes that emphasize local ingredients and fresh, vibrant flavors. Keaka’s style focuses on a seasonal menu that highlights the restaurant’s affiliations with the community. For Keaka, strong relationships between chefs and farmers are central to achieving a sustainable, effective local food network. Chefs and farmers partner to provide a complete farm-to-table culinary experience. 

This symbiotic relationship was on display when The Pig & the Lady joined forces with Ho Farms, a family farm located on Oahu’s North Shore, to host a collaborative six-course farm-to-table dinner with wine pairings designed to stimulate conversations about food, community and culture. Sounds informatively tasty.

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The Barley-Confection Synthesis: Tips for Pairing Beer and Halloween Candy

All Hallows’ Eve is fast approaching. An exorbitant trove of candy has been procured; the front yard is decorated with fiendish skeletons, gravestones and zombies. Perhaps you will be chasing around a few moppets veiled as Minions as they traverse the neighborhood streets in diligent search of sugar-coated treats. Alternatively, your evening responsibilities may include staying at home and doling out confectionary delights to ghoulish passersby. In either case, and with all of these painstaking Halloween preparations, it may have been easy to overlook one inexorable fact: you are destined to possess a large candy cache come All Saints Day. The confection inundation dilemma: what to do with it all? Fear not; there is still time to plan appropriately.

This week our expert beer panel hits the sweet spot with ten spooky beers that will pair brilliantly with your leftover Halloween candy. So dig through that candy bowl, extract the preeminent confections, and let’s get to work.

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