It’s been nearly a year since I started my new marketing job at Hawaii News Now. Getting a chance to attend an event like the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is only one of the perks. And let me tell you, Corks and Forks was nothing short of amazing.
Hawaiian Airlines sponsored the event, which took place at the Hawaii Convention Center’s rooftop garden. The second you walked through, a staff member handed you everything you needed to start your evening: your wine glass and your fork.
And you know me…I love my wine. I was in heaven.
Walking into Corks and Forks was definitely a little overwhelming — so much food to try and so little time! So we had to quickly get the lay of the land (and figure out how to eat the plates of food we were gathering while juggling our wine glasses).
There were 20 world-renown celebrity chefs there that night at tents handing out food on either side of the event. (Jake met Adam Richman!) A large tent in the middle of the rooftop garden also housed 20 of the Napa Valley’s Greatest Wine Estates, each pouring one of their best wines — right next to a huge cheese sampler.
Can you say a wino’s dream? We went back to the cheese station at least three times throughout the night — as I made my way over for more wine, of course. (Wine trips probably outnumbered the trips to get cheese.)
On top of that, there were also different beers on tap and mixologist stations to throw you off as you walked around. (Should I get more wine?? Wait, there’s a cocktail I need to try!)
— Rachel Wagenman (@RachelFRO) September 7, 2014
It may not look like much, but this little dish stole the show for both me and Jake. It was one of the last dishes we tried that night, but easily shot to the top of our favorite list. Let me present to you Chef Mavro’s potato mochi with oxtail rillette topped with a quail egg.
According to his Twitter, the chef said his team served more than 1,000 of these cuties. And I bet every single person who tried was more than satisfied. (He also retweeted my tweet!)
While Chef Mavro’s dish was an easy one-bite, some of the other dishes were a little trickier to eat on the go. This includes Chef MacPherson’s lamb slider — which was totally worth every bite after finding a place to perch for a few minutes so we could sample.
I also ran into a bunch of co-workers throughout the night. Eventually we all came together for a girl-power photo-op. And then turned around and got more wine. (Naturally.)
Here are my picks for the Top 3 dishes of the night:
- Chef Mavro: Potato mochi with oxtail rillette topped with a quail egg
- Chef MacPherson: Lamb slider with pickled red beets, Big Island goat cheese, and creme fraiche
- Hokulani Bakery: Sweet potato cupcake with cream cheese frosting
And honestly, while dessert is coming at the end of this post, I definitely made my way over to some of the dessert tents early on in the evening. What can a girl with a sweet tooth say? We just sniff it out.
Hokulani Bakery brought a selection of three different cupcakes: a sweet potato cupcake with cream cheese frosting (topped with an edible chocolate decoration displaying the festival’s logo), a vanilla cupcake filled with fudge and topped with cream cheese frosting with orange zest, and finally a chocolate port wine cupcake with port wine cherry.
As I said in my top 3 dish list above, the sweet potato cupcake was a delightful surprise.
Ono Pops even made an appearance with their own tent, serving up Lilikoi ice cream dipped in Italian meringue, then individually brûléed! I was so upset that they ran out, but I still walked away with a haupia pop. If you’ve never tried their wacky flavors, you need to catch them at Eat The Street.
See, I could actually talk about dessert forever. But let me just say that this was an amazing experience, and it’s all ending today with their final event in Ko’Olina, It’s A Food World After All. Looking forward to next year already!