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photo: Mastery of Maps on Flickr

A few weeks back, we were chatting with sustainable food expert Michel Nischan, hoping to make plans to hang during the New York City Wine & Food Festival. “I’m gonna be in Hawaii,” he said, then wondered why two competing big-time food festivals were occurring at the exact same time half a world away. We’re guessing it has something to do with competing sponsors, but whatevs; while Food Republic editors gorged on meatballs, fried chicken and street foods, the globe-trotters over at Eater were live on the tropical scene at the first Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. Turns out it wasn’t all poi and ukeleles. Click through for Eater’s photos and a report from the festivities featuring John Besh, Nischan, Rick Moonen and more.