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Kaua‘i Poke Fest returning to Koloa Landing Resort

PO‘IPU — The Koloa Landing Resort announced the Kaua‘i Poke Fest with Sam Choy and Friends will take place at the Po‘ipu resort on June 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. with live entertainment, celebrity chefs, and more than 500 pounds of ahi poke.

The announcement also named the celebrity chef judges, Aaron Sanchez, an award-winning chef, TV personality, author and philanthropist, and Ronnie Rainwater, chief culinary officer, Las Vegas at Emil’s Restaurants,. They will judge the 20 professional and amateur competitors’ poke creations based on presentation, originality and taste to determine the winner of this year’s fest.

“We are excited to have Chef Aaron and Chef Ronnie join us on Kaua‘i this year for our third annual poke fest,” said Aaron Bambling, resort general manager. “Each year, the poke competition has brought talented chefs throughout the state with creative and delicious recipes. We look forward to the competition this year, and what our new judges’ favorites will be.”

Registration for professional and amateur chefs is open until May 5 by visiting

Professional and amateur chefs interested in participating in the fest will be provided poke-grade ahi and a $150 stipend to help offset costs.

Winners will be declared in the crowd favorite, judges’ choice and overall winner categories.

The winner of the crowd favorite with the most votes from the public will receive a $500 food and beverage credit to Holoholo Grill at the resort, and a private poolside cabana at the resort’s main pool that was voted Best Pool in America.

The judges’ choice and overall winner posting the highest rating by the judges will have their name engraved on the crystal poke bowl and a seven-day, six-night stay at the resort, with winning recipes added to the menu at Holoholo Grill.

“Over the years, poke has evolved from using simple ingredients like sea salt and ogo, to making poke with ‘ulu or tofu, and adding in mayonnaise and chili sauce,” said Choy. “The poke fest really highlights poke’s simplicity and versatility. We are really looking forward to having Chef Aaron Sanchez and Chef Ronnie Rainwater at this year’s poke fest, and hope the community joins us, too.”

Tickets for the fest are available at Early bird tickets are available at a discounted price, and a limited number of VIP tickets are being offered that will provide exclusive access to the celebrity judges, poke chefs and early tasting.
Source: The Garden Island

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