The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival® (HFWF) is excited to announce the appointment of Hawai‘i-chef Colin Hazama as the Festival’s new Executive Chef, marking the first time that a chef has joined the staff in a year-round capacity for support beyond the fall festival season. The addition is an important distinction for HFWF—a major food and wine festival and esteemed nonprofit that was founded by two notable Hawai‘i chefs, Chef Roy Yamaguchi and Chef Alan Wong, in 2011.

While many food and wine festivals tout chef and culinary industry committees to guide
programming, a dedicated, on-staff role for an Executive Chef is rare. “The Hawai‘i Food & Wine
Festival was founded with the mission to spotlight Hawai‘i as a premiere epicurean and cultural
destination, promoting its local culinary talent and diversity of homegrown and raised products,”
said Denise Yamaguchi, HFWF Chief Executive Officer. “Creating a year-round position for an
Executive Chef on the HFWF staff reinforces our commitment to represent Hawai‘i’s talented chefs
at the forefront of the culinary industry and create global recognition for their unique cuisine.”

Hazama, who was born and raised in Hawai‘i, has built a well-respected reputation in the industry
both locally and abroad. A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Hazama worked in the
prestigious kitchens of Alan Wong in Honolulu, as well as Roy Yamaguchi and Gary Danko in San
Francisco, before turning his sights on the large culinary operations of Waikiki—both at the
Sheraton Waikiki and the landmark, Royal Hawaiian hotels. Hazama’s dedication to working directly
with farmers and local vendors to create his farm-fresh cuisine has garnered him numerous
recognitions—including a James Beard Foundation nomination for “Rising Star Chef” in 2010,
named one of Hawai‘i’s brightest young stars by Pacific Business News for its prestigious Forty
Under 40 Class of 2015, and awarded 2018 Chef/Restaurateur of the Year by the Hawaii
Lodging & Tourism Association. Earlier this year, Hazama beat out two competitor chefs to go
head-to-head with Chef Alex Guarnaschelli in the seafood challenge of Food Network’s “Alex vs

In 2020, Hazama launched C4 Table, a pop-up/catering business that showcases fresh fish and
partnerships with roughly 20 different farmers around the island. “Using fresh, local ingredients and
produce is at the core of what C4 Table represents,” Hazama shared. “My dishes allow me to
showcase my island roots through elevated comfort food created by applying the most updated
techniques to the best available ingredients locally.”

Hazama is no stranger to the HFWF and has participated as a chef in nine lineups throughout the
twelve-year history of the Festival. In his new role, Hazama will play an integral part in leading the
coordination of all aspects of the annual HFWF, as well as numerous events throughout the year,
related to food preparation, production and culinary activities. His experience in and beyond the
kitchen (he’s also an avid spear fisher and diver) will allow him to embody the role of ambassador
for the Festival—leveraging his culinary expertise to continue the HFWF mission to create world-class culinary experiences that spotlight the best of Hawai‘i’s locally grown, raised and caught

“I’m beyond ecstatic and very humbled to join the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival as Executive Chef,
led by the vision of Denise Yamaguchi and my chef mentors, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong,”
shared chef Colin Hazama. “The Festival is world-renowned and I’ve always looked forward to
participating and attending previous events. In this new role, I’m able to work with award-winning
chefs from around the world, bringing them together to elevate Hawai‘i as a culinary mecca and
deliver a cultural experience like no other—showcasing Hawai‘i’s bounty from land to sea,” he

Hazama has already begun his duties working with over 80 chefs to execute 15 events across three
islands for the Twelfth Annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, returning October 20-November
6, 2022. Tickets are on sale now—attendees can view the lineup of events and chefs, purchase
tickets, plan their travel and more by visiting Proceeds from
HFWF ticket purchases support Hawai‘i’s farmers, ranchers, and fishermen, as well as up-and-coming chef talent at local culinary colleges and agricultural education for Hawai‘i’s keiki. Stay
connected—follow HFWF on Twitter/Instagram @HIFoodWineFest and Facebook at

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