Fourth annual Kaua‘i Poke Fest approaches

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Final preparations are underway for the fourth annual Kaua‘i Poke Fest with Sam Choy and friends as more than 20 competitors prepare to compete for the title of Hawai‘i’s Best Poke on June 8 at Kōloa Landing Resort.

Hundreds of poke lovers are anticipated to attend the specialty food festival to sample a myriad of unique poke creations prepared by professional and amateur chefs. This year’s celebrity judges who will also cast their votes include, Kaua‘i County Mayor Derek Kawakami, Chef Sheldon Simeon, owner of restaurants Tiffany’s and Tin Roof on Maui, Nick and Nate Herbig, Kauaʻi-born professional football players for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kumu Leināʻala Pavao Jardin, kumu hula of Hālau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leināʻala.

“The Kaua‘i Poke Fest is all about celebrating the diversity of poke, and we are so excited to see the ways that our competitors put their own unique twist on the iconic dish,” said Aaron Bambling, general manager of Kōloa Landing Resort. “This year, we’re honored to support the Hawai‘i Community Foundation – Maui Strong Fund, sharing our aloha with the families of Maui.”

VIP and general admission tickets are still available at VIP tickets are $150 and include exclusive early access to the poke tasting. General admission tickets are available for $115.


Both admission levels include two drink tickets, access to the Made in Kaua‘i Marketplace and live poke demonstration with the “Godfather of Poke,” Sam Choy. Doors open at 3 p.m. for VIP and 4 p.m. for general admission. Proceeds from the 2024 Kaua‘i Poke Fest will benefit the Hawai‘i Community Foundation – Maui Strong Fund which provides financial resources to support the immediate and long-term recovery needs of the people and places affected by the devastating Maui wildfires.

To learn more visit

Attendees will be able to sample each competitor’s unique poke dish and vote for their favorites. The top three winners with the most votes will receive the following prizes:

  • 1st Place – A $2,000 Visa Gift Card, airfare and hotel accommodations for two to travel to Honolulu and be featured on Sam Choy’s in the Kitchen TV show as a guest chef, two-night stay at Kōloa Landing Resort in a two-bedroom villa, the coveted purple apron, and the winner’s name engraved on the Crystal Poke Bowl.
  • 2nd Place – A $1,000 Visa Gift Card, two-night stay at Koloa Landing Resort in a 2-bedroom villa
  • 3rd Place – A $500 Visa Gift Card

Those competing for the title of Hawai‘i’s Best Poke include Grecean Manuel, 2023 Kaua‘i Poke Fest Overall Winner, and Taylor Sakimae, 2019 Kaua‘i Poke Fest Overall Winner and owner of Kauai Poke Co. Additional professional and amateur chefs participating will be representing: The Beach House, Cabana Bar & Grill, Charbar Co Burgers & Sushi, Da Bald Guy from O‘ahu’s North Shore, Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Island Brewing Co., Kaua‘i Kookie, Kōloa Thai Bistro, Moa Moa Hawaiian Fish House at Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort, Nanea Restaurant & Bar at the Westin Princeville, Outrigger Kauai Beach Resort, Pineapple Express Kauai, The Plantation House, Poipu Poke Shack, and more.

For those looking to travel for the Kaua‘i Poke Fest, a special room package is available for guests who include June 8 in their stay. Guests will receive a 10% discount on room rates, two free general admission tickets and complimentary parking at Kōloa Landing Resort.

To make a reservation, visit or call 808-240-6600. For more information about the Kaua‘i Poke Fest visit


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