2016 Demos & Seminars

The Big Island Chocolate Festival was excited to have two stars of the chocolate industry providing their expertise for chocolate enthusiasts and pastry artists!

Saturday May 14th  9:30 am- 2 pm at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

  • 9:30-10:30 a.m. Demonstration with Tasting:  Derek Poirier- Valrohna Pastry Chef Western USA, will be presenting- "How to Make Ornate ChocolateFlower3Chocolate Flowers for Pastries"-Learn the art of making decorative chocolate flowers and get tips on "chocolate decorating made easy". Ornate any dessert or cake. Derek will also share techniques about making a chocolate ganache. Learn from one of the top pastries chefs in the nation.
  • 10:45-11:45 a.m. Demonstration with Tasting: “How to Make An Elegant Dessert Full of Textures.” Derek Poirier will focus on the new Valrhona Azelia, the world’s first couverture that combines the indulgence of hazelnuts with milk chocolate. Learn how to create a chocolate dessert of textures, creamy and crunchy, but focusing on just two flavors: hazelnut and lemon. Also Derek will promote proper chocolate techniques and the ease of using Azelia, Valrhona's newest chocolate. He will also be teaching how to create an "Azelia Microwave Sponge Cake".

Noon-1 p.m. Demonstration with Tasting: “How to Taste Chocolate-And Enjoy Every Second” by Jacques Dahan, Chocolats Michel Cluizel- . Dahan is president of the American branch of Michel Cluizel, a family-owned, chocolate company originating in Normandy, that’s been in business since 1948. Dehan has been working with chocolate for 32 years and will guide attendees on how to use all five senses to best enjoy fine chocolate.

Learn how to make chocolate flowers!


Tickets for all three Saturday seminars are $75 in advance.  $35 for each at the door. Or purchase a "One Day Chocolate Pass" with all three demonstrations AND a ticket to the gala for $125.

We invite you to book your room at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel for both Friday and Saturday and mention the Big Island Chocolate Festival for room rates of only $225 inclusive!

Chef Derek PoiriDerek Poirierer was named as one of the top ten pastry chefs in the country in 2014. Chef Poirier, Ecole Valrhona Pastry Chef Western USA , brings his experience and skills honed in the top hotels of the US and Canada in his work with the French chocolate maker. He teaches and conducts demonstrations in restaurants, hotels and culinary schools throughout the US and Canada. He also develops recipes and teaches master classes attended by an international array of pastry chefs who travel to Valrhona’s famed L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat located in Tain l’Hermitage in the wine region of France’s Rhone Valley. He has represented the US and Canada in world pastry competitions.

Jacques Dahan, President of the American branch of Michel Cluizel, a family-owned business since 1948 working from beans to bars based in Damville, Normandy.JacquesDehan

In 1984, Jacques started working for Cacao Barry in the region of Paris. In 1994, he moved to the US where he became in charge of the Gourmet department of Cacao Barry. In 2004, the Michel Cluizel adventure started. In 2009, the company opened a store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. In 2010, the company moved to West Berlin, NJ where they opened a non-dairy kitchen manufacturing chocolate, pastries, and macarons. Since March 2013, Michel Cluizel opened the first Chocolatrium in America, offering chocolate lovers a unique chocolate experience.