Friday, May 20, 2022 |
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PUHI — The lack of a big rush was a blessing for some at a recent event held at Kaua‘i Community College.
“Chef Mark Sassone went back to the hotel,” said Turquoise Santos of Kaua‘i Beach Resort. “We’re real busy there, and we have the brunch too, so he went back to check on that.”
Normally, Santos, a graduate of the KCC culinary arts program, and her crew of pancake makers would be stooped over grills, afraid to look up at the seemingly unending line.
But that did not materialize, and Santos was able to look over the field of offerings.
“Usually, we can’t do this,” she said. “So we might as well enjoy it while we can.”
Chef Guy Higa of Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and Beach Club, a longtime supporter of the annual American Culinary Federation breakfast, said because this was the 25th anniversary, the organizers would like to acknowledge the original crew who started the event.
Conrad Nonaka, a Kaua‘i boy who is currently on O‘ahu, usually makes his appearance at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific’s gala event, but took advantage of the breakfast to return home, spending time chatting with former instructor Chef Clarence Nishi and other Kaua‘i residents.
Nonaka and Nishi are joined by other key people like Peter Yukimura of Koa Trading Co. and John Ferguson of Kalaheo Coffee as the key organizers of the first event that supports KCC culinary arts students, Higa said.
“We give out a lot of scholarships,” said Chef Martina Hilldorfer, a culinary arts instructor. “Overall, students get between $7,500 to $10,000 from the Hawai‘i Hotel and Lodging Association, Kaua‘i Chapter, about $5,000 from the Rotary Club of Po‘ipu Beach. We also get about $3,000 from the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a, and also support from the Ariyoshi Foundation, and the Kaua‘i Range.”
Hilldorfer said Kaua‘i Coffee Co., an A&B subsidiary, also provides some scholarships as well as all the coffee for the college programs.
Sandi Kato-Klutke of the HHLA, Kaua‘i Chapter, said she was pleased to bring scholarships for those students who participated in the recent HHLA golf tournament.
“They cooked things I like to eat,” Kato-Klutke said. “We’ll invite them back to the Visitor Industry Walk coming up later this spring. They cook good food.”
Billy Gibson, a culinary arts instructor who retired in December, said people’s participation in events such as the ACF Breakfast help with the students’ programs.
He said this year’s event was hampered by things going on, noting the used book sale could not be put together in time, the art students’ work could not be offered because of a leave of abscense by some of the art instructors.
“The KCC Nursing Club are doing well,” Gibson said. “They’re offering free blood pressure tests and free flu shots. So far, they’re doing good business.”
He said the next dining event on the KCC calendar is the Culinary Arts Institute of the Pacific’s Gourmet Spring Gala, scheduled for April 8 at the college.
“We’ve already had meetings, and people can start watching for the tickets because it usually is a sellout event,” Gibson said. “This is just another way the community supports the KCC programs.”
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