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The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific.  Set in the lush island paradise of Hawai‘i, the Festival will take place over two weeks on multiple islands, featuring a roster of over 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 in Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Honolulu, and Ko Olina Resort 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.  

Event Chairs

Chef Alan Wong

Alan Wong has made a name for himself internationally with his marriage of ethnic-cooking styles with the finest island-grown ingredients, creating local dishes with a contemporary twist. A James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Northwest, he was one of 10 chefs in the United States nominated by the Wedgewood Awards for the title of World Master of Culinary Arts. Bon Appétit has recognized him as the “Master of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine,” and Alan Wong’s Restaurant has been ranked by Gourmet twice. It is also the only restaurant in Honolulu that appears on the Top 10 of America’s Best 50 Restaurants.

Wong is the author of New Wave Luau and is a 10-time winner of the Hale ‘Aina “Restaurant of the Year” and Ilima “Best Restaurant” Awards in Hawai‘i. The chef/owner of Alan Wong’s Restaurant and The Pineapple Room in Honolulu, he just released a new book in December 2010 entitled The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong.

Chef Roy Yamaguchi

Roy Yamaguchi is the creator of “Hawaiian Fusion® Cuisine,” a combination of exotic flavors and spices mixed with the freshest of local ingredients, always with an emphasis on seafood. Born in Tokyo, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and opened his first Roy’s in Hawai‘i in 1988. The restaurant was soon dubbed the “crown jewel of Honolulu’s East-West eateries” by Food & Wine and added to the Condé Nast Traveler Top 50 list. There are now 32 Roy’s in Hawai‘i, the Continental United States, Japan and Guam.

The first chef from Hawai‘i to receive the prestigious James Beard “Best Pacific Northwest Chef” Award, Yamaguchi has hosted six seasons of the PBS-TV show Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi and was a featured chef on the Food Network program My Country, My Kitchen. He has also published three cookbooks: Roy’s Fish and SeafoodRoy’s Feasts from Hawaii and Hawaii Cooks: Flavors from Roy’s Pacific Rim Kitchen.

Executive Director

Denise Hayashi Yamaguchi

Denise Hayashi Yamaguchi is a business development consultant providing both nonprofit and for-profit organizations with fund development, marketing, government affairs, public relations and community relations strategies and solutions. Yamaguchi also serves as the Executive Director for the Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance (dba, Hawaii Food & Wine Festival) and the Executive Director of the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation.  She has more than twenty-four years of experience and has held executive positions with NCL America, Bishop Museum, Japanese Cultural Center, Hawaii Foodbank and U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s office in Washington D.C.  Her current and past clients include Artisan Farmers’ Alliance, Coast Guard Foundation, Crown Castle, Durrant Media Five, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, Hawaii Island Humane Socitety, Hawaii Meth Project, Hawaii High School Athletic Association, Holland America, Olelo Hawaii, Princess Cruise Line and U.S.S. Battleship Missouri Association.

Prior to founding Denise Hayashi Consulting, Yamaguchi was the Director of Community Relations for NCL America where she directed community relations strategies, particularly on the neighbor islands, for a new multi-billion dollar company entering the Hawaii market.  She developed key messages and tactics to achieve positive public sentiment for the company and industry.  Her responsibilities included governmental relations with neighbor island county councils, state legislature and federal agencies. She represented the company as the spokesperson with media, at community meetings and council hearings.

Yamaguchi was also named Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs for Bishop Museum and was the youngest person to be appointed to an executive position in the history of the Museum.  She has also served in various executive roles at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and the Hawaii Foodbank.  

Yamaguchi currently serves on board of directors of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and has held various volunteer leadership roles with a number of nonprofits in the community.