Here it is, the final installment in my Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013 recap series. The closing event, Savory Ever After, took place on the beach fronting Disney’s Aulani Resort and the JW Marriott Ihilani Reserot at Ko Olina. We don’t get out to the west side that often…they have pretty sunsets.

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Sunset over the lagoons at Ko Olina. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

The event featured some beautiful dishes, many of them very simple in presentation, which was rather refreshing after so many days of eating.

For example, this ‘Ahi Sashimi by Chef Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica). It reminded me of how my parents serve sashimi at home. Super simple, super fresh, super tasty.

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica) — ‘Ahi Ceviche, Sashimi-Style. Local fishermen. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

On the other hand, there were some elaborate, decadent items, like this pretty foie gras “Edible Spice Garden” by Chef Michael Ginor (Hudson Valley Foie Gras). The flowerpot (not edible) contained a “soil” of graham cracker crumbs mixed with savory spices beneath the layer of microgreens. (The foie gras is the little pillar sticking up.) I really liked it, but Shake thought it was a little weird. He prefers his foie seared, I think.

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Michael Ginor (Hudson Valley Foie Gras) — “Edible Spice Garden.” Local producers: Adaptations, ’Nalo Farms. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Here are a few other favorites. Hover over the photos for full descriptions. You can also visit the gallery with photos from all four events we attended.

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger) — Pork and Garlic Chive Wontons with Ginger Scallion Ma La Oil & Crispy Rice. Local producer: Shinsato Farms. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Kevin Chong (‘AMA ‘AMA at Aulani) — Crispy Singaporean Pepper Shrimp with Green Papaya, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Chinese Long Beans, Thai Ketchup & Baby Cilantro. Local producer: Kaua‘i Shrimp. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Richard Rosendale (U.S.A. Representative, Bocuse d’Or 2013) — ‘Ahi Tartar Tacos with Avocado Cream, Pickled Ginger & Togarashi. Local fishermen. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka (MW Restaurant) — Tiramisu Brûlée with Hawaiian Vanilla and Maui Rum Tapioca, Coffee Gelato, Kanten & Cake Croutons. And because Chef Michelle always goes the extra mile, Butter Mochi and Okoshi (Puffed-Rice Candy) treats to-go. Local producers: Hawaiian Vanilla Co., Huahua Farm, Ka Lei Eggs, Waialua Estate. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

We met friends for drinks prior to the event, so we weren’t on time for our early entry privileges. We got in a bit before the crowd, so I did get some nice shots of the chefs on one side of the area.

I really love these of my favorite married-couple chefs, Pastry Chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Chef Wade Ueoka:

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka (MW Restaurant). © 2013 Sugar + Shake Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Wade Ueoka (MW Restaurant). © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Their new restaurant, MW Restaurant, just opened up. I can’t wait to check it out!

More chefs at work:

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Richard Rosendale (U.S.A. Representative, Bocuse d’Or 2013) © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger). © 2013 Sugar + Shake Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Chef Michael Ginor (Hudson Valley Foie Gras) © 2013 Sugar + Shake

The evening—and the Festival—concluded with an amazing fireworks show. Seriously, I took video (and didn’t start recording until a minute or two in) and it runs just short of nine minutes. I thought about posting it, but I didn’t think anyone really wanted to watch a nine-minute fireworks video, even if it is pretty cool. Maybe if I’d had a wider-angle lens. We were right underneath the fireworks—it’s rather spectacular having them explode right overhead. I extracted some stills:

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Closing night fireworks. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Closing night fireworks. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Closing night fireworks. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival 2013; Savory Ever After event: Closing night fireworks. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Oh, in case you are wondering why there are no photographs of cocktails this time around…the evening featured only wines, no spirits. (Well, there was a tent pouring Ty Ku sake, but not making mixed drinks, and I think sake is considered “wine” too, anyway.) At first we were bummed, but really, it was probably all for the best to take a break!

So that’s it for Hawai‘i Food & Wine 2013! I hope we get to go again next year and I hope if I do, it doesn’t take me so long to finish my recap posts! By the way, the Festival organizers have already announced the dates for next year’s event: August 31 – September 7, 2014. Mark your calendars!

Disclosure: Access to events was provided by the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, but no compensation was received for this post, and the opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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