Chocolate, Wine, Jazz and Pupu's at 2013 Big Island Chocolate Festival Prelude Event

Choco and wine party details

Revered by ancient Mayans as “food of the gods,” chocolate stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani for the 2013 Big Island Chocolate Festival Prelude. The early evening soiree is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 and an appetizer for the Big Island Chocolate Festival gala 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Fairmont-Orchid, Hawai‘i.

The evening under the stars offers delectable pupus prepared by The Shops restaurants, wine poured by Johnson Brothers and jazz by the Bill Noble Trio. Chocolate festival celebrity chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates will be on hand to mingle with guests and “talk chocolate.” The Washington resident was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships.

“The Shops at Mauna Lani is excited and honored to be a part of the Big Island Chocolate Festival this year,” stated Kimberly Dalton, GM at The Shops at Mauna Lani. “We truly enjoy hosting such worthwhile events that will benefit our local ohana. This should easily be one of The Shops’ most delicious events yet…great food, wine and chocolate—what more could you ask for?”

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc., the Big Island Chocolate Festival benefits the $1 million “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheater at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Prelude tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door and available for purchase at The Shops at Mauna Lani 4D Movie Ride and the management office. A ticket entitles bearer to a $15 dining discount at each of The Shops four restaurants: Monstera, Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant and Bar, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Just Tacos Mexican Grill and Cantina. A $60 value, the discount offer is good through April 15, 2013.

For details on the Big Island Chocolate Festival’s three decadent days of activities—plus ticket information—visit

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of this new association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. Mahalo to 2013 BICF sponsors The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard Chocolate, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Coffee Connection, Qzina Specialty Foods, Johnson Brothers Distributors, West Hawaii Today, Waialua Estate Chocolate, Tinguely Development, Fair Wind-Big Island Ocean Guides, Barry Callebaut, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Gourmet Foods and Kulana Foods. Info:

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Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at and and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

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