Maui Culinary Academy and the Maui County Farm Bureau were among ten beneficiaries that received a total of $228,5000 in donations from the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. The two Maui-based non-profit organizations received the funds during a Nov. 22 presentation held at the Halekulani Hotel on Oahu. The Food & Wine Fest has raised nearly $700,000 for island nonprofits since its 2011 inception.
In addition to the $20,000 that went to the Maui County Farm Bureau and the $5,000 earmarked for Maui Culinary Academy, the HFWF plans to 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.
HFWF co-chairs and chefs Roy Yamaguchi, owner of Roy’s Restaurants, and Alan Wong, owner of Alan Wong’s Restaurants–along with Hawaii visitor industry representatives–presented the checks and thanked the festival’s partners and participants for collaborating and growing the sold-out event, which was the largest and most successful to date.
“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. “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.”
“The festival is a tremendous showcase of our culture, our people, our culinary students, and the food products from the Hawaiian Islands,” Wong added. “It’s inspiring to see people taste Hawaii now more than ever before, and to work for our future generations of farmers and chefs.”
The HFWF hosted 17 events at eight venues on Oahu and Maui. They featured more than 75 internationally acclaimed chefs, 50 farmers, 20 winemakers, 10 mixologists, a sake brewer, and a brewmaster from Hawaii, the mainland U.S., Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines and Australia.
More than 250 culinary students benefited from the experts’ knowledge and skills–a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work alongside some of the most respected names in the industry.
Photo courtesy Alan Wong