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Big Island Chocolate Festival seeks culinary participants

Organizers of the third Big Island Chocolate Festival are looking for culinary participants for the event on Saturday, May 3, at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Last year’s event sold out and more than 500 attendees are expected this year.

Participating chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners can also enter the free culinary competition in a variety of judged categories. “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres, Food Network celebrity from New York City, will lead the team of celebrity judges. Other celebrity chocolatiers participating in the festival include Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona Chocolates Asia-Pacific and Donald Wressell of Guittard.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

For culinarians interested in participating or for more information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com or call 324-6100.