Total Giving Reaches Nearly $3 Million


HONOLULU, HI (March 4, 2020) – Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) announced yesterday that it donated $413,580 to local culinary, agricultural and community organizations statewide at a Mahalo Reception held at Mariposa at Neiman Marcus. Proceeds from the ninth annual event were gifted to 18 nonprofit partners that contribute to the overall success of HFWF through many different channels including student volunteers, agricultural and educational activities, event concepts, fundraising, cultural enrichment, and more.


The $413,580 donation brings total community giving to nearly $3 million over nine years since HFWF’s inception in 2011. In 2019, startup business funds were also given to participating public schools through the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation’s Young Entrepreneurs Program, and miscellaneous gifts were bestowed to community clubs and organizations.


More than 200 sponsors, volunteers and contributors representing numerous international, national and local corporations, government agencies, as well as individual donors, were in attendance at the Mahalo Reception for the announcement.


“We are fortunate and thankful to have the support of so many diverse industries as sponsors, companies, policymakers, purveyors and individuals who are part of the greater HFWF ‘ohana,” said Denise Yamaguchi, HFWF Chief Executive Officer. “It is only through the generous efforts of these essential supporters that allow us to give back to so many deserving organizations in our community.”


2019 Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival beneficiaries include:

  • American Institute of Architecture Students Hawai’i Chapter – $7,500
  • Culinary Institute of the Pacific – $80,000
  • Frontera Farmer Foundation – $25,000
  • Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation – $70,000
  • Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Federation – $2,500
  • Hawai‘i Island Community College Culinary Program – $7,000
  • Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation – $2,500
  • Hawaii Seafood Council – $5,000
  • IMUA Family Services – $55,000
  • KCC Culinary Arts Program – $55,000
  • Leeward Community College Culinary Program – $25,000
  • Localicious Recipe Contest Scholarship – $500
  • Maui County Farm Bureau – $20,000
  • Maui Culinary Academy – $20,000
  • Paepae o He‘eia – $10,000
  • Papahana Kuaola – $10,000
  • Roosevelt High School Leo Club – $1,000
  • Sacred Hearts Academy – $2,500
  • Miscellaneous – $1,106


Ten public high schools were awarded via the Young Entrepreneurs Program – $13,974

  • Aiea High School
  • Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High School
  • Henry J. Kaiser High School
  • Konawaena High School
  • Leilehua High School
  • Olomana School
  • Pearl City High School
  • President Theodore Roosevelt High School
  • Waipahu High School
  • Waipahu Intermediate School


“HFWF has been a huge and critical supporter of our UH culinary programs, which educate incoming employees for the hospitality sector across the islands of Hawaiʻi through our statewide system of public higher education,” said David Lassner, University of Hawaiʻi President. “In addition to providing financial support for our programs and the construction of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, HFWF has enabled us to provide our culinary students with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to work side by side with world-class chefs.”


The reception featured dishes by HFWF Co-Founder Roy Yamaguchi, Jennifer Chow of Nobu Honolulu, Colin Hazama of The Royal Hawaiian and Lawrence Nakamoto of Mariposa at Neiman Marcus. Specialty tastings were provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Hawaii and Anheuser-Busch Sales of Hawaii.


HFWF is a program of the Hawai‘i Ag and Culinary Alliance. Its mission is to attract national and international attention to the extraordinary culinary talent, as well as the diversity of quality locally grown products to ensure Hawai‘i maintains its competitive edge as a world-class, culinary destination. Over nine years, HFWF has expanded from a 3-day festival with 30 chefs in Waikiki to more than 20 events spanning the Island of Hawai‘i, Maui and O’ahu.


HFWF19 welcomed 12,778 festival attendees, including 1,530 mainland and international visitors to 22 events featuring 114 renowned chefs, 31 world-class wine makers and sommeliers, 32 top mixologists, 10 local breweries and 173 culinary students statewide. HFWF19 garnered nearly $25 million in publicity value from media coverage including USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes, Travel Weekly, Travel+Leisure China, Cooking Channel, International Traveller, Pacific Business News, Delta Sky Japan, Seattle Times and Travel Weekly China.


For updates, visit and follow HFWF on Twitter/Instagram (@HIFoodWineFest) and Facebook (


About Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival

The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. The Festival features a roster of more than 100 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. Co-founded by two of Hawai‘i’s own James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Festival will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry. Proceeds support local beneficiaries committed to sustainability and cultural and educational programs in Hawai‘i.