The annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival regales foodies with distinctive island flavors. // © Hawaii Food and Wine Festival
If food defines a destination, then Hawaii’s food festivals serve up a truly savory taste of place.
Hungry travelers can time their Hawaii vacations with culinary events to rub elbows with top chefs, winemakers, brewmasters and growers.
Several high-profile events focus on a particular island specialty, such as the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the Waikiki Spam Jam and the Maui Onion Festival. But the following four fests feature an impressive cross-section of fresh local ingredients in creative preparations, enjoyed alongside a variety of heady beverages.
Check them out and get ready to feast on Hawaii to the fullest.
Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, Oahu and Maui (September)
Dozens of superstar chefs, beverage producers and Hawaii farmers join forces for a multi-day affair combining cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, beach-side barbecues and other culinary fun. Special excursions provide insight into the cultural and agricultural sources of today’s cutting-edge cuisine.
Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, Maui (June)
The tony Kapalua Resort sets the stage for this gathering of winemakers, sommeliers, chefs and connoisseurs from around the world. Guests take part in lively interactive tastings, parties and seminars. Other highlights include a golf tournament, a winemakers’ dinner and the grand finale, a seafood festival on the oceanfront lawn.
Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range, Hawaii Island (October)
The growing trend of agritourism takes center stage at this Hilton Waikoloa Village-based event celebrating Hawaii’s diverse products. Visitors graze on grass-fed beef, country-fresh vegetables and island-grown fruit while hobnobbing with producers. An afternoon demonstration provides guests with recipes and cooking tips.
Taste of Hawaii, Kauai (June)
The self-proclaimed Ultimate Sunday Brunch awaits visitors in the lush garden setting of Smith’s Tropical Paradise. Guests dine on dishes from 50 Hawaii chefs, sip spirits from 15 beverage booths and bid on bounty during the silent auction. Live entertainment enhances the feasting at this longstanding Hawaii food festival.