PUHI — Rocket plumes were trailing in the skies over the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility, signaling the start of the hectic spring season for students at Kaua’i Community College.
According to Johnny Michael of PMRF, the rocket launches were a collaborative effort between students and faculty at Kaua’i, Windward, and Honolulu community colleges of the University of Hawai’i system.
Data-tracking during the launch was done using CANSAT, Michael explained.
In addition to the students and their advisors, Jerry Nishihira, a rocket pioneer at Waimea High School, and several of the PMRF engineers were on hand to help with the project, as well as launch their own rockets.
In other KCC news, culinaryarts students Skylar Ballantine and Kalani Amdur returned home from the state competition with silver and bronze medals, respectively, in a cooking contest.
Chef Martina Hilldorfer, one of the KCC culinary-arts instructors, said Amdur missed the silver medal by a mere 0.25 points for his lamb preparation that was earlier featured in The Garden Island food section.
Ballantine earned silver in the cold food salon category, creating six different plated desserts for consideration.
She used a “Taste of the Tropics” theme, and plated chocolate Charlotte white chocolate mousse, raspberry essence, liliko’i tart, pistachio creme sugar wave, flash-fried mint, mango panna cotta, guava coulis candied lime zest, li hing mui pineapple upside down cake, beignets, coconut mousse chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, and strawberry banana turnover coffee custard caramel drizzle.
Programs like these are made possible using some of the proceeds generated by the upcoming Fourth Annual Culinary Institute of the Pacific Spring Gourmet Gala, which will be at KCC on April 14.
The event is a foodand wine-tasting fund-raiser for the culinary-arts program, and will feature chefs Alan Wong, Hiroshi Fukui, DK Kodma, and Danny Morioka.
Additionally, Hawai’i’s Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya is also expected to be on hand for the event that starts at 6 p.m. in the KCC fine-dining room.
Proceeds generated by this event help develop KCC’s culinary-arts program and purchase essential kitchen and dining-room equipment, instructional materials, and small wares. All items are used for training that serves students, patrons, and those in the hospitality industry in the community.
However, Hilldorfer noted that tickets are going fast, and once they are sold out, no more will be available. Tickets may be ordered by calling 245-8321.
“This is my first one (Spring Gourmet Gala), but I expect it to be great,” Hilldorfer said.
In addition to the “epicurean adventure,” KCC has several other events that take place in April.
The Associated Students of UH-KCC chapter leaders will be hosting their Fifth Annual Spring Festival on April 15, from 9 a.m. to noon. The event features the popular egg hunt, and will be at the KCC College Center.
Westbound motorists have a chance to get out of traffic and enjoy some of the hospitality of the ASUH-KCC chapter members on April 18. when they host a Snack Nite event featuring a plate of sandwich, chips, and drinks for sale, in front of the Learning Resource Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Kauaians have an opportunity to enjoy an Academy-Awardwinning film, “Memoirs of A Geisha” under the stars (keep your fingers crossed) on April 20, starting at 7 p.m. when the ASUH-KCC leaders host their Movie Night Under the Stars program.
The PG-13-rated film will be available for a $3 donation, or for a contribution of a cannedfood item that will be given to either the Kauai Food Bank or the YWCA.
Event leaders encourage people to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets, mats, and umbrellas to enjoy this film on a huge outdoor movie screen.
The screening will take place in the lawn area back of the KCC Performing Arts Center, and refreshments will be sold by members of the KCC Leadership Club.
For more information, call 245-8338, or 245-8245.
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.