Ready, set, eat! The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival lands on Oahu Nov. 1 to 5 with its biggest, brightest talent lineup and event schedule yet. Decisions, decisions.
With the seventh annual celebration’s dozen events spread out over two weeks on three islands, we got the scoops straight from the source. We asked the HFWF team to give us their top insider tips on how to best tackle this eating bonanza.
Raise your glass and take it home
Every attendee receives a Riedel wine glass, but most are left behind. The festival’s fall dates mean a bounty of fine wine at events like Hawaiian Airlines Presents Uncorked at the Hawaii Convention Center on Friday, Nov. 3, a pairing of 20 wines and 21 top chefs including Bravo “Top Chef” winners Stephanie Izard and Michael Voltaggio. Swirl, sip, savor and keep the glass as a souvenir of a fabulous evening under the stars.
Oh, and don’t toss your cocktail cups either. A lot of attendees don’t realize it, but the Tossware cups are meant to stack and you can take them home to re-use. They’re perfect for pau hana barbecues, beach days and picnics!
Best event to get a photo with a chef or celebrity
HMAA Presents Keiki in the Kitchen
Sunday, Nov. 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tickets are only $5.
Thirty-two celebrity chefs will be there along with Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” star Duff Goldman and Adam Richman. Bring your autograph book and see how many signatures and selfies you can get.
Events with the lowest ticket prices
21st Century Hawaiian Cocktail – $50
Raw & Wild – $95
7-Eleven Presents Steamy Bowls – $95
Food Fight and Bloody Marys – $115
Best events for cocktail lovers
Spice Market at The Modern Honolulu on Nov. 2 will have 10 of the country’s hottest mixologists shaking up spirits at a cocktail lounge with four grand tasting bars on the pool decks, plus a private whiskey bar for First Hawaiian Bank/Mastercard ticket holders. Dishes prepared by 13 innovative chefs including Ming Tsai are inspired by the ancient Spice Route.
If you want to mix your own drinks, Food Fight and Bloody Marys on Nov. 5 at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort is the ultimate Sunday brunch. Last year’s bar included over-the-top fixings like a slider! Bonus: live music poolside.
For the next big thing, check out The 21st Century Hawaiian Cocktail Competition on Nov. 4 at The Kahala Hotel & Resort. Top mixologists will compete to create the next cocktail craze – and you get a taste!
Most fun souvenir for attendees
The HFWF team loves the Steamy Bowls souvenirs. They’re cute keychains with ramen and chopsticks – a fun memento from a night of comfort food, dancing and soft serve ice cream. This HFWF after party is at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Nov. 3.
Biggest highlight of #HFWF17?
Hard to pick just one, but how’s this: The first 1,000 kids at Keiki in the Kitchen at Bishop Museum on Nov. 5 will get a plain cupcake that they get to decorate with Duff Goldman. This family-oriented event promises a special interactive experience with a TV star.
HFWF by the numbers:
3 – # of islands hosting festival events
9 – # of days of festivities
12 – # of signature events
12 – # of mixologists
18 – # of new wine producers
27 – # of first-time chefs
120 – # of chefs participating in #HFWF17
8,765 – # of attendees at #HFWF16
Whoa! Did you know …
• 76,000 portions of food will be served over the festival’s nine days
• 3,500 bottles of wine and spirits will be supplied by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Hawaii
• Once you enter an event, you don’t need to take out your wallet
• A key planning piece when the first HFWF was being conceptualized was drafted on an air sickness bag
Oahu events start in two weeks! Get your tickets at www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.