Despite predictions of rain, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival’s Chopstix & Cocktails at The Modern Honolulu unfolded under clear skies, with a lively crowd enjoying gourmet dishes, specialty cocktails and wine in the hotel’s chic, poolside setting.
Thirteen renowned chefs — including Kenichi and Kentaro Chen from Japan’s Shisen Hanten, Charles Phan of San Francisco’s The Slanted Door, Bobby Chinn from London’s The House of Ho, Sang Yoon of the Los Angeles-based Lukshon Restaurant and Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York — presented an eclectic variety of plates, while DJs Anit and Compose spun beats on the sunrise pool deck.
Demand for their outstanding original cocktails kept the mixologists shaking and stirring all night, while those more wine-inclined gathered around for a taste of new vintages from around the world.
Here are scenes from the event:
A cocktail by Chandra Lucariello of
Southern Wine & Spirits Hawaii.
Star power! Actress Grace Park, Chef Alan Wong, Daniel Dae Kim and “Man vs. Food’s” Adam Richman.
The most raved about dish of the night, a caramel-smoked pork belly with cabbage and a marinated egg by chef Bobby Chinn of the House of Ho in London. The sweetness of the caramel perfectly complemented the salty pork belly.
Chef Sang Yoon of Lukshon Restaurant in LA “smokes out” his display.
You might recognize chef Hubert Keller (left) from TV, or as that DJ who throws down amazing sets each year at the Hawaii Food & Wine After-Party.
The gals at the Kirin Ichiban booth served up frozen beer.
DJ Anit and the girls take a dip in the pool.
Poolside at The Modern.
The Hawaiian Springs team provided a welcome relief from the heat.
Chef Bobby Chinn’s crew had way too much fun.
A crowd favorite of the night, sliced kampachi with hearts of palm and bone marrow salsa verde, prepared by Sarah and Evan Rich of the Rich Table in San Francisco. Local ingredients include Hawaiian kampachi, Kulana Foods and Wailea Ag.
The Modern poolside, the upper deck and the VIP areas were all open for the event.
Local mixologist legends Dave Newman (left) and Tony Abou-Ganim (middle) having some nice frozen beers.
Tony’s cocktail was complex and refreshingly citrusy.
Josh Welch of OnoPops and his wife, Kat.
Top mixologist Andy Seymour of New York (Twitter handle @LiquidPimp) mixed up delicious drinks for the ladies.
It’s Reyn Spooner’s first year vending at the festival, and look at these amazing shirts they’re offering!
Hosting chef Keith Paginag of The Modern was bedecked in leis.
Chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka of MW Restaurant prepared a refreshing strawberry eclair.
Another crowd favorite, chef Celina Tio’s tea-cured duck breast with sizzling chili oil and bok choy salad. Her restaurant, Julian, is in Kansas City.
Chefs Keinichi and Kentaro Chen of Shisen Hanten in Japan prepared island shrimp in a chili mango sauce. Ingredients locally produced by Eggs Hawaii and Kauai shrimp.
The foie and sesame macaron by Keith Pajinag of the Modern Honolulu.
Iron Chef Morimoto’s cold green tea soba with tempura shrimp. Made with locally caught Kauai shrimp, Kawamata Farms, LNR Farms and Won Hon Hin ingredients.
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival veteran Thierry Rautureau of Seattle’s Luc prepared a tribute to Hawaiian farmers — an opah confit and goat cheese salad with avocado on a sweet watermelon. Ingredients were locally produced and caught by Big Island Goat Dairy, local fisherman, Sugarland Growers and Wailea Ag.
A beet cake topped with goat cheese frosting and fennel compote by chef Bill Corbett of the Absinthe Group in San Francisco. The goat cheese is locally produced at Big Island Goat Dairy.
Chef/author Elizabeth Falkner making her coconut chia crema with charred pineapple ice, smoked macadamia and passion soy caramel.