Show 271, April 28, 2018: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalIt’s a very special day of pure indulgence on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” We’re coming to you from the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Hapuna Beach ResortThis is our 2nd year of participating.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA where cacao, the primary base of chocolate, can be successfully grown commercially.

Now a properly decadent preview of Saturday’s appropriately sinful show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. Can you ever get enough of premium chocolate? If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s probably a pretty good thing…

We fortunate enough to again have a local celebrity as our Remote Engineer. That’s hard-working, on-air radio personality G. Cruz (“Lunchtime Kalabash”) who is also the Program Director for KWXX-FM, “Feel Good Island Music” on The Big Island. We’ll meet him.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 7th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.
Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which is just completing a $50 million dollar renovation. By late June it will officially emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

Alicia Boada is an acclaimed pastry chef and instructor with 20 plus years of experience in the culinary industry. She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate (The Barry Callebaut Group) whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa, among more. As a Corporate Pastry Chef & Chocolatier,
Chef Alicia’s role often calls on her to perform demonstrations and training worldwide keeping her on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. Chef Alicia will be performing two chocolate culinary demonstration as part of the Festival in addition to judging the Gala’s delicious offerings.

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 7 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.

Wendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging in late June as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort). In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.
Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. In 2015, he moved his school to Costa Mesa along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat, to the oCo Collection!  He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing two chocolate culinary demonstrations.
Chef Dayne Tanabe oversees the KPC Restaurant at the Hilton Waikola Village on The Big Island. Chef Dayne was instrumental in repositioning the menu direction for KPC – Kamuela Provision Company, the signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village. KPC features local Hawaii Island produce, prime steaks and fresh island fish and seafood. As Chef of Restaurants, Dayne now has the added responsibility for overseeing the many dining restaurants at Hilton Waikoloa Village, creating and implementing concept driven menus at Big Island Breakfast, Imari Japanese Izakaya, Lagoon Grill, Orchid Marketplace, Malolo, Boat Landing Cantina and Dona & Toni’s Pizzeria.. Chef Dayne joins us with his award-winning pastry chef, Eddie Enojardo.