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Food events: Taste chocolate from wild cacao, paired with 12 wines


Oialla chocolates

Courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Love chocolate? Love wine? This event is for you. Sommelier Patrick Okubo will be pairing wine selections with Oialla chocolates made from wild cacao grown in an Amazon tributary in Bolivia. The 70 percent chocolate slabs, crafted by Danish chef and chocolatier, Rasmus Bo Bojeson, contain organic Brazilian cane sugar as the only additive. That means no vanilla, no lecithin, no added cocoa butter (often found in other chocolate bars), which is in part possible given the the large amount of cocoa butter in the wild beans Bojeson sources (62 to 64 percent versus 49 to 53 percent in a normal bean).
$50, Tuesday, April 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Mariposa in Neiman Marcus, 951-3420 for reservations

Plate Up Niu Valley: Chefs and students work together to create delicious dishes at this fundraising event for Niu Valley Middle School. 14 chefs, including Russell Siu from 3660 on the Rise, pair up with Niu Valley students to mentor them in culinary technique, serving up tasting plates such as braised short ribs and truffle jus.
$125, Friday. April 27, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Hyatt Regency Waikiki, friendsofniuvalley.com for tickets

This month, Eat the Street, Honolulu's biggest food-truck event, features bacon: dipped in chocolate (by Eat Cafe), combined with chocolate and caramel in frozen form (by Aloha Ice Cream Tricycle) and spun into gelato for a Bacon Fior Di Latte (by Il Gelato).
Friday, April 27, 4 to 9 p.m., 555 South St.

Taste of the Nation, featuring small plates by Ed Kenney, Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi and other top chefs, will raise money to help feed Hawaii's hungry children. The goal: $50,000 for the Hawaii Foodbank and ‘AINA in schools, a program of the Kokua Hawaii Foundation.
$100 pre-sale, $125 at the door. Sunday, April 29, 6 to 9:30 p.m at Bishop Museum, click here to buy tickets

Fabio at Whole Foods Kailua: As far we know, Fabio is not coming to promote romance novels, but Healthy Planet Nutrition, his line of nutritional supplements.
Sunday, April 29, 2012, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kona isn't the only region to produce award-wining coffee. Taste coffee from further down the road, in Ka'u, at the 4th annual Kau Coffee Festival over the first two weekends in May. Among the events:

  • Kau Farmers Table: a five-course dinner focusing on locally sourced produce and proteins, by Chef Morgan Starr of Mi's Italian Bistro. The menu includes Keahole lobster and Pahala corn fritters, plus Kau coffee prepared four ways. $100, May 5, (808) 939-8052 for reservations
  • Recipe contest: enter your recipe for cookies, candy and crackers using Kau coffee. Deadline to enter is May 1, for more details, click here.
  • The main event, the Festival Hoolaulea and Coffee Experience, features coffee farm tours and Kau coffee sampling with 2011 U.S. Barista Champion Pete Licata. May 12.

For additional details on all the events, visit kaucoffeefest.com

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