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Nancy Silverton, Sang Yoon cook with Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong for sixth Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Nancy Silverton, Sang Yoon cook with Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong for sixth Hawaii Food & Wine Festival
Exotic dishes such as this one, Okinawan sweet potato Mont Blanc, are offered during culinary events at the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in October. (Dane Nakama)

Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles and Sang Yoon of Lukshon in Culver City are among the featured talent at the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on the islands of Hawaii, Maui and Oahu next month.

Six years after famed chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong founded the culinary event, it has grown to feature about 100 pros, including Georgia's Hugh Acheson, San Diego's Richard Blais, Chicago's Graham Elliot and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

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Yoon said he looks forward to cooking on Oahu after meeting face to face with local producers.

Surrounded by his culinary crew, L.A. chef Sang Yoon, center, will be cooking at the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.
Surrounded by his culinary crew, L.A. chef Sang Yoon, center, will be cooking at the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. (Travis Okimoto)

"We get to see the bounty of seafood that they pull in every day," he said. "We get to meet these amazing pineapple and mango growers, people who are making cheese [and] raising livestock on the islands."

Though a pineapple may not sound very special, Yoon cooks with tiny ones found only in Hawaii.

"They're incredible. ... When you try this white pineapple, they're about the size of your fist, and they'll blow your mind."

He said he also looks forward to working with Pacific threadfin, a fish the locals call "moi."

"That is extremely rare outside the islands and very rare within the islands," he said. "When I go there, I'd eat my whole weight in that fish if I could find it."

The food fest is set for Oct. 14-16 on Maui before moving to Hawaii Island on Oct. 22. Then it's on to Oahu, where the majority of the events are to be held Oct. 26-30.

Ticket prices vary depending on the event.

Diners gather on the beach at Ko Olina for one of the many Oahu dining experiences at the festival.
Diners gather on the beach at Ko Olina for one of the many Oahu dining experiences at the festival. (Orlando Benedicto)

Some examples:

--A session called "Scandal! The Dark and Stormy Underbelly of Cocktails," to be held Oct. 15 at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, mixes up cocktails with stories. Tickets cost $80 per person.

--Take a deep breath before buying a ticket for the "Halekulani Culinary Masters Gala Series" on Oct. 30, which costs nearly $1,050 per person. For the gala, chefs take diners on an East-meets-West journey through six courses, with wine pairings included.

--The lowly ramen, a staple cheap eat in college dorms, gets its due with the "Clash of the Ramen" event on Oct. 28. Yamaguchi and Wong will be among the chefs participating at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort. Tickets cost $95.

Festival information: Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, (808) 738-6245

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