"Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate debuts at ‘Aipono Awards"

Charlene Kaʻuhane

Posted on April 18 2018

Maui Ku‘ia Estate Chocolate Inc. was thrilled to be featured in this year’s ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards dinner! Our chef Riko Bartolome made a 60% Dark Milk Chocolate Lobster Ganache and a 70% Dark Chocolate Foie Gras Truffle as part of the Reception Menu. We were excited to share our chocolate for the first time with Maui’s amazing culinary crowd.

Our cacao farm is located on Kamehameha Schools land in the ahupu’a’aof Ku’ia in Lahaina. Once a thriving ‘ulu forest, this fertile, tropical land is now home to 7,000 fragrant cacao trees. In March we had our first cacao harvest.

Earlier this year we broke ground for our Lahaina chocolate factory! We’re working hard to open the factory in 2018 and our full service retail sales operation in Early 2019. When we open, we will be the largest bean-to-bar chocolate company in Hawaii. Simply put, we will craft our chocolate to be amongst the world’s finest. We are privileged to use 100% of our net profits to benefit Maui charities and nonprofit community organizations. We call this Chocolate Kuleana. Stay tuned for more. Visit: mauichocolate.com.

The ‘Aipono Awards name Maui’s best restaurants, and bestow other culinary titles as voted by the island’s residents and visitors. As one of the presenting sponsors, Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate’s Gunars Valkirs, CEO, had the honor of bestowing the “2018 Best Chef of the Year Award” with Becky Speere, the magazine’s dining editor, to Alvin Savella of The Banyan Tree at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. The best chef award is the only award voted on by chefs on Maui.

Proceeds from the dinner directly benefit the University of Hawai‘i – Maui College’s Culinary Arts program. This year’s sold-out gala was held at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui Friday, April 13, 5:30 p.m. Diane Haynes, publisher, Maui No Ka Oi magazine and her staff, the team at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, Envisions and master floral designer Asa Ige of Asa Flowers transformed the ballroom at the Kea Lani into a magical ‘Aipono Wonderland.  For full details - MauiMagazine.net/Aipono2018.

Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate media inquiries contact media@mauichocolate.com.

  

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