Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 |
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PUHI — Jim Foster said his family came all the way from Illinois to have breakfast at the Kauai Community College on Sunday.
“Actually, we know someone in the culinary arts program so we’re here to support her,” said Foster. His family, including Cathy and PJ, accompanied Yasu and Cindy Morikawa of Hanamaulu.
Yasu said this was their first year attending the American Culinary Federation breakfast, and they did so because their daughter is studying culinary arts.
Hundreds of Kauai families and visitors flocked to the annual breakfast featuring made-to-order omelets, Ni‘ihau lamb, grilled chicken, Eggs Benedict, Portuguese sausage, ham and more.
KCC Chancellor Helen Cox was thoroughly excited about the nearly 1,500 meals being served under a blanket of orchestral and band music directed by Sarah Tochiki and featuring the Kauai Community College musical ensembles.
“This ACF Breakfast has to be the highlight of the Kauai Community College calendar,” Cox said. “To see this many people from the community, and listening and watching their enjoyment at being on campus, is such a great feeling. I was shopping for a wooden pen at Mr. Joseph Vegas’ table, and I heard Chef Martina Hilldorfer start talking. Uh-oh, it meant I had get over there. I need to get back to get that pen.”
Another first-time attendee was Vance Pascua.
“My daughter is in culinary arts and told me I needed to be here to support her,” Pascua said. “I’ve never been to this event, but if the food is good, I’ll be back.”
McKenna Pascua was a double winner when more than $9,000 in scholarships were distributed during a break in the four-hour breakfast, which was billed as a zero waste event. Pascua was awarded a scholarship from Hawaii Gas, an event sponsor, as well as the special Gondring scholarship.
“We gave out $5,000 in scholarships early this year,” said Joyce Vidinha, representing the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, Kauai Chapter. “There were seven recipients — Charlee Balisa, Casey Ching-Pacheco, Christopher Jame Corpuz, Aillean Defontorum, Gilson Guillermo, Tori Pagador and James Thomas — who earned scholarships for the work they will be doing in hosting the 19th Hole for the Visitor Industry Charity Walk Golf Tournament which will contest on Feb. 27 at the Puakea Golf Course. And, again, the 19th Hole is at the Kauai Community College. Of course, I couldn’t resist the plug for the Visitor Industry Charity Walk coming up in May.”
Other culinary arts students sharing in scholastic earnings included Mark Isoshima, who was awarded the Watase scholarship; Nia Klutke, who earned one of two ACF scholarships; Rowell Pasion, Dazmon Sasil, Summer-Rain Silva- Quirantes and Aaron-Michael Vidinha.
In addition to providing scholarships and equipment for culinary arts students at KCC, books and kitchen equipment for Waimea High School Culinary Academy, the ACF Kauai Chapter also supports the community by sponsoring and cooking monthly meals for 100 people who dine at the Salvation Army’s Kokua Soup Kitchen.
“This helps perpetuate the three P’s — pride, passion and professionalism — in culinary arts,” said Alex Amorin, the ACF Kauai Chapter president. “I don’t know how I became the president. I remember flipping omelets at this very event 20 years ago.”
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