Chefs revive Hawaii Island culinary classic: Hawaii Food & Wine Festival hosts ‘Return of Cuisines of the Sun’ event

  • Chefs plate one of many delectable dishes served at the annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. (PHOTOs COURTESY OF HFWF)

  • Chefs celebrate with guests at last year’s event.

WAIKOLOA RESORT — The seventh annual Hawaii Food &Wine Festival will feature a blast from the past at the “Return of Cuisines of the Sun” event this Saturday night at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort &Spa.

The popular culinary event includes a six-course dinner headlined by world class chefs who took part in the original culinary series that ran from 1991 to 2001. The dinner pays respect to the impact that Cuisines of the Sun had on Hawaii’s culinary trajectory, inspiring events like Hawaii Food &Wine Festival (HFWF).


“Cuisines of the Sun started with four chefs and four winemakers featuring cuisines and beverages of warm, sunny climates,” explained HFWF Co-Founder and featured Return of Cuisines of the Sun Chef Alan Wong. “It grew into inviting chefs and winemakers from all over the world. It brought media, attention and publicity to the Big Island, to the State of Hawaii, our food, culture, farmers, products and people. This is what the Hawaii Food &Wine Festival brings to the state in its seventh year.”

“It’s fitting in our seventh year to honor an event that elevated Hawaii’s reputation as a culinary destination with a food-forward 2017 reboot,” added Denise Yamaguchi, the Festival’s chief executive officer. “Return of Cuisines of the Sun celebrates the past, present and future of Hawaii cuisine with a dinner that will build upon the success of the legendary original.”

James Beard Award winning chefs Robert Del Grande from Café Annie in Houston, pastry chef François Payard of Payard in New York and Hawaii’s own Alan Wong join fine dining pioneer Mark Peel of Prawn restaurant in Los Angeles, the father of Southwestern cuisine Dean Fearing from Fearing’s in Dallas and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort &Spa executive chef Jayson Kanekoa for a six- course epicurean experience paired with fine wines curated by Southern Glazer’s Wine &Spirits of Hawaii.

Courses will include slow-roasted Hawaiian Berkshire pork with cocoa bean molé, ginger-lemongrass broth and bok choy by Robert Del Grande; cilantro-lime buttered kampachi and corn tamale filled with prawn salad on warm tomato salsa by Dean Fearing; Thai lobster rolls with Spicy coleslaw and aioli by Mark Peel; and sea of pineapple with lemon thyme, marscapone coconut cream, tapioca and passionfruit sauce by François Payard.

The Hawaii Food &Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. It features a roster of more than 100 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities and wine and spirit producers.

Co-founded by two of Hawaii’s own James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Festival will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry.


General admission tickets to the six-course dinner are $250. VIP tickets include one hour early admission, a VIP cocktail reception and VIP reserved seating for $500. Proceeds support local beneficiaries committed to sustainability and cultural and educational programs in Hawaii.

Info and updates: Visit and