It’s The Tastiest Event On Kauai

Rotary Club of Kapaa hosts the biggest ever Taste of Hawaii Sunday, billing it as the ultimate brunch

This weekend, you can indulge in all things savory and sweet — and feel good about it — at Rotary Club of Kapaa’s annual fundraiser Taste of Hawaii. On Sunday (June 7), from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., patrons will wine and dine on an eclectic mix of food and beverages during “Ultimate Sunday Brunch.”

“It is an event that allows the camaraderie and fellowship of Rotary to manifest in the form of a feast and celebration,” says Ron Margolis, Taste of Hawaii chairman and longtime Rotarian.

Taste of Hawaii is intended to support a plethora of organizations around the island, including Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Kapaa Middle School Robotics, Kauai Lifeguard Association and Child & Family Service.

“What does it matter if the monies go to Kapaa, Hanapepe, Kilauea or wherever? We are all Rotarians, and our goal is to give back to our communities and provide needed services and capabilities that our community needs,” says Margolis.

And the event has grown since its humble 1988 inception, when it was held at Coco Palms Resort and cost a mere $20 to attend. This year, some 2,000 people, including chefs and guests, are expected at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

“It is the only event on island and one of few in the state with so many food tastings in one place,” notes Margolis, who adds that the location is “extraordinary.”

Expect more than 40 of Hawaii’s most popular chefs to prepare their best dishes this year.

“Just think of the finest restaurants on island,” Margolis entices, “and most of them will be there.”

Not only will guests get to please their palates with one-of-a-kind delectable samples, but they also will be entertained by 13 musical groups on four stages.

“I’d say that’s pretty unique, wouldn’t you?” replies Margolis, when asked what aspects set the celebratory affair apart from others.

To raise even more funds, Rotary Club of Kapaa is going one step further this year by offering a silent auction.

It might look easy, but it takes plenty of hard work to pull off an event of this caliber. The amount of time and voluntary dedication that’s required to coordinate the feast alone is remarkable. Nearly 200 Rotarians were needed to organize this year’s “masterful culinary extravaganza,” says Margolis. It also takes four to six months to put together.

It’s time well spent. “Compared to other major fundraisers on Kauai, Taste of Hawaii is by far the best value, in terms of what patrons get for their money,” says Margolis, “not to mention that the net proceeds from the event fund the various avenues of service for Rotary Club of Kapaa.”

Taste of Hawaii tickets cost $100 online and $115 at the door. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit