Food always tastes better in a beautiful setting, especially if it’s at the luxury Four Seasons Hualalai resort. Coming up in October, celebrity chefs Neal Fraser (Los Angeles chef and Iron Chef winner), Jonathan Waxman (James Beard winner), Andy Ricker (Two-time James Beard Award winner and Michelin star recipient), Gabrielle Hamilton (Three-time James Beard winner, Iron Chef winner and Emmy winner for Mind of a Chef), Edward Lee (James Beard finalist), and Ivan Orkin (New York Ramen Genius), will all fly to the Big Island of Hawaii to cook and bake with Executive Chef Thomas Bellec of the Four Seasons Hualalai. 

Two other Four Seasons chefs–Christof Syre from Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas and Fabrizio Schenardi of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walk Disney World–will join these chefs to participate in the annual culinary Chef Fest celebration in Kailua-Kona.

Throughout the day there will be interactive events taking place near the beach and at four dining venues:’ULU Ocean Grill, ‘ULU Sushi Lounge, open air Beach Tree and Hualalai Grill. These esteemed chefs will teach classes, sip cocktails and entertain guests in an luxurious and relaxed oceanfront setting from October 4th to 8th, 2017. The resort is offering a $150 credit for guests who make a reservation to stay at the resort during Chef Fest. This credit can be applied to any of the Chef Fest events.

Courtesy of the Four Seasons Hualalai

With 192 guest rooms and 52 suites in the two-story intimate bungalows, the resort offers exceptional dining opportunities and an extensive collection of local art from 1775 to the present throughout the property.  Guests are encouraged to visit the Ka’upulehu Cultural Center to view the exhibits and participate in the interactive programs and visits by Hawaiian cultural specialists and historians.

Executive Chef Thomas Bellec of Four Seasons Hualalai

Executive Chef Thomas Bellec is known in Hawaii for preparing locally sourced dishes using Kona avocados, Big Island goat cheese, Waimea red and yellow tomatoes, Hamakua mushrooms, Kona cold lobster, Volcano white organic honey and Kona baby abalone. He harvests sea salt from the resort’s volcanic rocks and cultivates the red seaweed raised at the hotel to use on his elevated Hawaiian dishes.

Master sommeliers and mixologists will pair the events with only the best wines and cocktails. Don Weaver from Harlan Estate will host a wine tasting, and Julie Reiner hosts a mixology class.

Chef Neal Fraser and REDBIRD pastry chef with Chef Thomas Bellec from the Four Seasons Hualalai

Here’s a peek at a sample menu for Chef Fest in Hawaii that I tasted when Bellec flew to Los Angeles to cook with Neal Fraser at REDBIRD. For the first course, the chefs sauteed Mongchong with chanterelle mushrooms and wonderful English peas. This dish paired well with an Austrian Weingut Brundlmayer Kamptal Gruner Veltiner Terrassen.

Another Chef Fest favorite is marinated Kona Kampachi (a sustainable fish in Hawaii raised a few miles from the Kona airport) with pickled ogo, Wow’s Farm organic heirloom tomatoes, sliced radishes, baby cilantro and smoked lava salt. This dish has a delightful crunch with a sprinkling of rice cracker pearls.

A fried whole Kinki fish with an artichokes barigoule and fish sauce paired nicely with a glass of German Riesling.

For dessert, the roasted pineapple cheesecake with chopped macadamia nut, haupia and li hing mui with coconut gelee offers true Hawaiian flavors. This sweet treat paired well with an Italian Saracco Moscato D’Asti.

To reserve a room and learn more about Chef Fest, go to: http://www.fourseasons.com/hualalai/dining/chef_fest/