As a prelude to the Big Island Chocolate Festival, local event planning and catering company The Feeding Leaf presents the premier “Chocolate Soirée” dinner on Thursday, May 7, 5-8 p.m. at Kokoleka Lani Farms. (Keauhou Mauka/Holualoa)
The seven-course feast features “bean to bar” chocolate from nearby Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, savory and sweet, in dishes created by notable chefs like award winning pastry chef Stanton Ho, Clayton Arakawa (Mauna Lani Resort), Angela Smith (Sweet Eatz), and Scott Hiraishi (The Feeding Leaf), assisted by culinary students from University of Hawai‘i Center—West Hawai‘i Campus.
Also providing chocolate for the Soirée, Kokoleka Lani Farms is a working cacao farm in Keauhou, run by Greg Colden and Marty Corrigan, owner-operators of Kona Natural Soap Company. By special arrangement, the exclusive Chocolate Soirée event begins in their retail shop, with passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by the culinary students. Dinner will be served family-style in their adjacent home.
Chocolate cocktail concoctions will be provided by mixologist and general manager Keith Malini of Ray’s on the Bay, the oceanfront restaurant at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. Ray’s on the Bay has also selected fine wines to serve with the elegant farm-to-fork feast, and the restaurant will feature one of the signature chocolate entrees on their dinner menu in the days leading up to the event.
“The Chocolate Soirée is a fun way for us to do some education. It gives the students a chance to work with top chefs in a unique environment, and to work with the more unusual Hawai‘i Island ingredients they don’t see or use every day,” said The Feeding Leaf General Manager Les Apoliona.
“It gives our guests a chance to learn about new and different aspects of local chocolate while they enjoy a beautiful, exclusive dinner at the source,” he said. “We’re so grateful to Greg and Marty for opening their home and their cacao farm for us. And, with two more days of chocolate indulgence Friday and Saturday, we think this will be and outstanding pre-event for Big Island Chocolate Festival.”
Tickets for Chocolate Soirée are limited to 100 at $125 per person, including cocktails and wines, available at Kona Wine Market and Westside Wines, online at www.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-soiree-tickets-16328176014, or by calling 808-325-3803. The Big Island Chocolate Festival takes place May 8-9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, with a chocolate-themed fundraising gala, cacao farming seminars, a culinary student competition featuring plated desserts and more. Part of the proceeds benefit the American Culinary Federation/Kona Kohala Chefs Association scholarships and Kona Pacific Public Charter School. More information about the Big Island Chocolate Festival.