KCC culinary arts students bestowed with scholarships at ACF Brunch

PUHI – Preparing 2,000-plus meals can have its rewards.

Twenty culinary arts students from the Kaua‘i Community College culinary arts program were given a break during a hectic day to be honored as recipients of $5,500 in scholarships.

Dan Spriggs of the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a made the presentations during the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Brunch on Sunday, with the help of KCC Chancellor Peggy Cha and KCC culinary arts instructor Billy Gibson.

Spriggs said Kapa‘a Rotary presented the scholarships on behalf of eight ACF chefs who were also on hand.

Funds for the scholarships are derived in part from Kapa‘a Rotary’s Annual Taste of Hawai‘i event at Smith’s Tropical Paradise. That event is scheduled for Sunday, June 4, Spriggs said.

“Today, we are awarding 20 students at Kaua‘i Community College a total of $5,500 in scholarships honoring eight chefs and their establishments,” Spriggs told the audience. “In the fall semester, we awarded 12 scholarships worth $2,500, making a grand total of 32 awards and $8,000 for 2005-06.”

In accepting the scholarships, Gibson said that not only does the Taste of Hawai‘i generate scholarship funds, it also provides the culinary arts students opportunities to work alongside some of the top chefs from Kaua‘i and the state.

Additionally, Gibson announced two scholarship recipients on behalf of the ACF. The two included one student who will be graduating in the Spring and one first-year student.

Criteria for making the ACF scholarships include grade point average, leadership qualities, community service, and future outlook in the culinary arts field, Gibson explained.

Richard Cariaga, who pursues the culinary arts program while balancing a job at Keoki’s Paradise, was the first recipient.

First-year student Brandee Carlos-Kahalekomo earned the second ACF scholarship.

Recipients of the Kapa‘a Rotary scholarships included Kalan Amdure and Skler Ballantine in honor of Chef Rafael Camarillo.

Jayrald Bercasio, Kimberlee Buduan and Ashton Contrades received scholarships in honor of Chef Troy Trujillo of Olympic Cafe.

Shirri Cuaresma, Erin-Ian Garcia, Shanelle Jamoraban, and Taryn Keuma received scholarships in honor of Chef Rodman Machado of Princeville Resort.

Adam Meafua, Megan Mukai, Jamelyn Padre, and Daelene Perreira received scholarships in honor of Chef Mark Sassone of Aloha Beach Resort.

Kolomana Perrera-Basconcillo, Marcus Punzal, Jasmine Quibilan, and Joseph Reese received their scholarships in honor of Chef Nicholas Salvi of Sabella’s.

Wayne Remata, Brennan Semana, and Creighton Tamagawa received scholarships in honor of Chef Ron Miller of Hukilau Lanai.

Spriggs said that in addition to the scholarships at KCC, Kapa‘a Rotary provides culinary scholarships to four other community colleges in the state. The culinary arts scholarship program started in 1999 and has honored more than 60 chefs with more than 200 scholarships totaling $100,000.

The Rotary Club of Kapa‘a sponsors and supports many other community programs, agencies, and events ranging from painting guard rails to buying books for students, and helping at many of the larger institutions such as the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital.

Last year’s Taste of Hawai‘i featured 40 chefs and their establishments serving more than 60,000 servings to more than 1,700 guests. The Taste of Hawai‘i features music, continuous live entertainment at three stages, and a silent auction with proceeds supporting local, statewide and international charitable projects and activities.

Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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