May 16, 2012
For the first time in the event’s three-year history, the I Love Poke Festival, taking place May 30th from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bali Hai Restaurant, will auction off one of its coveted judging spots for charity, via eBay Giving Works and MissionFish. This auction will begin on May 16th and extend for ten days, ending on Saturday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m.
The starting bid will be set at $200.00, and all proceeds from this auction will benefit the Kona-California Scholarship, a non-profit organization supporting Hawaiian students who plan to attend college on the mainland. In addition to winning a guest judge seat next to Top Chef star Brian Malarkey, the top bidder will also receive two tickets to the I Love Poke Festival valued at $50 each. Interested parties may bid on the guest judge seat at www.kona-californiascholarship.org/poke, which will provide a direct link to the auction page once it goes live.
Judging the poke competition will be a mixture of twelve experts in the fields of cuisine and Hawaiian culture. Currently confirmed judges include Top Chef star Brian Malarkey, Transworld Surf Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chris Cote, Slash of KOGO Radio, Polynesian Underground’s Mana, Cups Culinary owner Michelle Lerach, Chuao Chocolate’s owner and chef Michael Antoronsi, Food Blogga’ s Susan Russo, professional surfer Sunny Garcia, Da Kine Catering’s “Uncle” Nelson Ishii, Motu Hawaii’s “Uncle” Romeo Valero and “Uncle Wayne,” a Hawaiian fisherman. The auction winner will claim the twelfth spot on the panel.
The I Love Poke Festival is a food festival that immerses guests into Hawaiian culture and cuisine, all the while pitting fifteen of San Diego’s top chefs against on another to discover who can create the best poke dish in the city. Competing chefs will create poke dishes in both a “Traditional” category (use of tuna required) and an “Any Kine” category (any sort of food may be used). Poke (pronounce "POH-keh") is a Hawaiian delicacy traditionally made with raw ahi tuna, cut into cubes and lightly seasoned. In addition to sampling all the competition’s dishes at no extra charge, attendees will also be treated to complimentary sweet and savory tastes from a variety of San Diego restaurants and food vendors on site during the event.