Thursday, August 19, 1999

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Convention center
festival to offer
taste of Hawaii

The event in October will be
the first of a 'Cooking Across
America' series

By Peter Wagner


Hawaii and its new convention center are to be highlighted in a major food festival in October, organized by cable television's popular Food Network.

The festival, at the Hawaii Convention Center on Oct. 17, will be the first in a series of five "Cooking Across America" events showcasing cuisine across the country. Organizers hope to draw thousands of tourists and residents as top chefs from around the world show their talent.

The festival is to occupy five stages at the center's exhibition hall with Food Network and local chefs conducting demonstrations, food tastings, exhibits, a country store and other activities. Other festivals are to follow in Cincinnati, New York, Newport Beach and Detroit.

Gov. Ben Cayetano, at a news conference yesterday at the convention center, said the event will expose Hawaii and its food to a huge TV audience.

"This is a chance to brag a little about the foods we have to offer," he said, donning a white apron and poking at a sizzling pan of swordfish.

With a host of daily cooking programs, the Food Network draws an audience of 40 million. In promoting the upcoming festival, the network plans to air 70 spots during cooking programs, highlighting Hawaii's natural beauty and food.

While the event will not be televised, plans are to do so next year.

"My goal is to build this into an annual event much like the Aspen Food and Wine Festival," said Rich Gore, president of Chef Events, which produces the Food Network's touring events.

Tickets for the event will be sold starting Sept. 8 at the service counters of Foodland and Sack N Save stores for $20, or $17 for customers with the stores' Makai Cards.

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

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