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Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi to co chair Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

August 17, 2012 - Carla Tracy

James Beard Award winning Chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi will be heading up the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival Sept. 6 to 9 on Oahu.

Fun and tasty events will be held at the Modern, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, the Halekulani, the Hyatt Waikiki and Ko Olina Resort’s Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. Former Mauian Patrick Callarec (who was chef owner of Chez Paul) is now executive chef at Aulani and will head up that event.

A roster of 60 top chefs from around the world will appear and I plan to write more about it in print in the next week or so. I do know that Nobu Matsuhisa will be there and that he is preparing to open the world’s-first Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace later this year. Other superstar talent will include Hubert Keller, Celestino Drago, Josiah Citron, Susan Feninger and Hawaii’s other James Beard Award winner, George Mavrothalassitis.

Many will be cooking with Hawaiian Kampachi, as part of the sustainability efforts of the festival.

“The rich, buttery fish, sustainably raised in net pens off the Kona coast, will be included in Chef Alan Wong's presentation for the $1000 a plate second annual Halekulani Master Chefs Gala Series at the festival, among others,” states a press release.

We hear the $1,000 a plate dinner is already sold out!

In advance of the Festival, Chef Roy Yamaguchi will be preparing a Hawaiian Kampachi recipe at Foodland Farms in Aina Haina on Saturday, Aug. 25 at noon. That is free and open to the public, according to the chef, who owns Roy’s Kaanapali on Maui.

Raised by Blue Ocean Mariculture on the Big Island, the Hawaiian Kampachi can be made into premium, sushi-grade sashimi.

“Whenever we shine a light on Hawaii, it’s good to spotlight farmers, fishers and agriculture,” says Wong, who spends a lot of time on Maui these days running Alan Wong’s Amasia at the Grand Wailea. “A long time ago, Hawaii was a sustainable place. It was, like, one of only six civilizations that were sustainable.”

Nowadays, we in Hawaii import most of our foods from elsewhere. So it’s pono to promote Hawaiian Kampachi and other island products.

Event highlights include Enter the MODERN Dragon: Morimoto & Friends - the kick-off event led by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto at the Modern Hotel in Waikiki. Morimoto will also appear at the Get Wild and Raw in Hawai‘i with Ming Tsai. The two chefs will present a live cooking demonstration of fresh Hawaii fish.

From Farm to Table: A Makahiki Festival is the third evening event showcasing Hawaii’s sustainable future with celebrity chefs who promote ‘farm to table’ sustainable sourcing and cooking practices. And last but not least, there will be Cuisines of the Stars: A Magical Journey of Food & Culture - the finale event at Aulani, where world-renowned chefs will create a culinary tour of ethnic foods from around the world using local products infused with distinctive flavors, spices and ingredients

Hawaiian Kampachi dishes to be served throughout the festival will include New-style Sashimi Flashed with Curry Oil and Tartare of Local Vegetables; Firecracker Big-eye Ahi and Hawaiian Kampachi Poke; Dried Kelp Wrapped Hawaiian Kampachi With Tropical Hawaiian Sauce; and Hawaiian Kampachi Tostada with Kimchi and Chipotle Mayo.

You may also savor Seared Hawaiian Kampachi with chunky avocado, pickled ginger crème fraiche, citrus soy.

“Blue Ocean Mariculture is producing consistent and reliable supply of Hawaiian Kampachi. This top grade, high quality ‘Made in the USA’ fish is ideal for starter and entrée presentations and is served at the best sushi and ‘white tablecloth’ restaurants throughout the U.S. We are delighted to be participating in this wonderful food festival highlighting the best of Hawaiian products and produce,” says Todd Madsen, president.

Blue Ocean recently announced it had completed the acquisition of the hatchery and offshore mariculture assets of Kona Blue Water Farms. This was the final step in its transition to becoming the exclusive producer of Hawaiian Kampachi™ .

For more information about the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, visit Hawaii Food & Wine Festival Website.


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"This year, it's all about farmers, agriculture and fishers," says Alan Wong.