It’s posh, it’s chic, it’s see-and-be-seen — and it’s an eat your heart out, meet the chefs you’ve seen in magazines and on TV, swoon at every turn scene. When you go to the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, every event has a different theme, a different feel. Under the Modern Moon: Morimoto and Friends, Thursday night’s Oahu opening gala, was an upscale Asian street festival. A sell-out crowd of 850 grazed at 15 restaurant booths staffed by culinary glitterati like Anita Lo, Floyd Cardoz, Amber Lin, Charles Phan and Yuji Wakiya. Winemakers like Au Bon Climat’s Jim Clendenen and Greg Brewer of Diatom and Brewer-Clifton poured their labels, and mixologists made cocktails to order.
Evening galas continue Saturday at the Hawaii Convention Center (theme: Love for the Land, a feast pairing Hawaii and national chefs with local ingredients) and Sunday at Ko Olina (Savory Ever After, the closing-night gala on the beach) with tickets going for $200 apiece. Tonight’s Around the World with Seven Chefs, featuring Grant Achatz, Hubert Keller, Nobu Matsuhisa, Halekulani’s Vikram Garg and three more, sold out long ago at $1000 a head. Daytime cooking demos, wine seminars and other events are scheduled for every day.