Food Fest Feeds He‘eia Projects

This fall’s Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, which included the involvement of 250 culinary students from island community colleges, was able to raise nearly $700,000 for food-related programs throughout the state.

Awards to 10 Hawaii nonprofits were presented Nov. 22 at Halekulani Hotel on behalf of the sold-out festival. The third annual event was held in September, welcoming more than 5,000 guests to 17 events at eight venues on Maui and Oahu.

Kaneohe projects Paepae o He’eia and Papahana Kuaola each received $10,000 from the fund. The nonprofits also co-hosted “Fish & Poi: Lunch at the Lo’i” for 60 festival guests in partnership with Kamehameha Schools. The event showcased the inspired restoration projects of the He’eia ahupua’a, from the fishpond to the mauka kalo patches.

“It’s a tremendous showcase of our culture, our people, our culinary students and the food products from the Hawaiian Islands,” said Chef Alan Wong, who co-chaired the festival with Chef Roy Yamaguchi. “It’s inspirational to see people taste Hawaii now more than ever before, and to work for our future generations of farmers and chefs.”