10 Reasons You HAVE to go to Chef Fest

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Omg I am so late to the game telling you guys about Chef Fest. But better late than never right? Plus, who doesn’t want to get lost in a little Hawaii wanderlust while it’s cold and rainy most places in the states?

Four Seasons / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

A few months back Thomas and I jetted off to Hawaii for Chef Fest. Basically the most ah-mazing food event ever created and it’s hosted at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. I mean, do you even need to know anything else? Food event – check. An AWESOME food event – double check (because take it from me, someone who has been to countless food festivals… they aren’t all awesome!). An epic hotel – check. Seven pools including a pond full of fish to go snorkeling in – check. I mean the list goes on. Add to that 7 chefs from all over the country who come to the property for a week to teach cooking classes and put on the most incredible dinner spreads, it doesn’t get much better than that. It was the definition of perfection and that’s not something I say lightly. Thomas had to drag me out of our suite at the end of the week and I basically cried the whole way home.

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

We spent the week eating like Kings and Queens and taking cooking classes from Hugh Acheson, Jonathan Waxman, Seamus Mullen, Naomi Pomeroy, Massimo Falsini, Robert Gerstenecker and Stephen Wambach. I’ll be honest, I went in thinking I wasn’t going to learn anything because I’ve been to culinary school, I’m a private chef and blah blah blah…. WRONG. Omg was I wrong. These people are major pros and they live and breathe food, cooking, recipe development, flavors etc. It was an absolute joy to watch them each cook and get schooled while I cooked alongside with them. I got scolded by Jonathan Waxman (in the most loving and playful way) for not following directions because I thought I knew better. Easily one of my favorite moments EVER.

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

And just imagine, each of these cooking classes took place on the patio of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai with the ocean as the backdrop. Pinch me. Does it get any better than this?

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

Well apparently it does – because every night there were these intimate dinner events. Some were sit down dinners with a few dozen people, some were more luau style events with tasting tables from each chef and the last night was like a gala with each chef creating 1 course for us but all working together to make the dinner extra memorable.

So… have I sold you yet? There’s not a chance I’ll miss Chef Fest 2016 – can we all just agree to meet there and eat and drink for a week together? We can snapchat and instagram up a storm. It’s a dream come true, I promise!

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

If you’re not booking your tickets yet – here are my top 10 reasons you HAVE TO GO NEXT YEAR. No questions asked.

10 – the most delicious breakfast Acai Bowls on the planet

Acai Bowls / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

9 – snack time consists of sushi, sushi and more sushi

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

8 – Poolside tacos, guacamole, pico and chips.

Tacos / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

7 – Hugh Acheson gives you all sorts of tips and tricks to bring his Southern recipes into your own kitchen.

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

6 – The Four Seasons Hualalai just started their own oyster farm which means oysters ALL DAY EVERY DAY!

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

5 – Seamus Mullen makes a mean Paella!

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

4 – You can take a helicopter tour of the island (more on that next week!)

3 – Cocktails with a view

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

2 – Views upon views upon views. You seriously can’t take a bad picture here.

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

1- Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is my new favorite hotel and if you don’t go you’re seriously missing out!

Chef Fest / What's Gaby Cooking (@whatsgabycookin)

A HUGE GIANT THANK YOU to Four Seasons for inviting me to experience this beyond incredible event!! And a special thank you to Brad and Abby – you two are wonderful!


  1. The most amazing place! Doesn’t get any better. Their fish tacos + beach smash (pear drink) are my two favs!!

  2. Was in Maui many years ago, and fell in love not only with the natural beauty of the land, the fresh, wonderful food, but the Polynesian culture. In particular, “pono”,”Be good to the land and the land will be good to you! “Such a wonderful people.,the natives were. In our hospitality room at our hotel, our hostess and I exchanged addresses and she gave me a cookbook put together by the hotel. Just a wonderful trip!!

  3. I loved following this trip on snapchat! I’ve never been to Hawaii and as I look out at 12 inches of snow on the ground I’m thinking that needs to change, stat.

  4. Oh wowzers! I want to go to Chef Fest! I mean, all that food, those amazing chefs, & you are in Hawaii?? YES, please! 😉 And sushi is served at snack time? My kind of place for sure…

  5. All I need to know is that it is hosted at the Four Seasons and I will be there. We have stayed at many around the world and they are the finest of hotels.

  6. That Acai bowl looks like pure gold! We’re thinking about going to Hawaii this year, so thank you for letting me know about Chef Fest — perfect timing!

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