The best of breakfast

Ask Chef Martina Hildorfer about the preparation for Sunday’s American Culinary Federation (ACF) Breakfast at Kauai Community College and she’s likely to rattle off a list of names other than her own.

“It’s a true team effort,” she says, minimizing her own role. “I’m just the spokesperson for the event.”

Actually, Hildorfer and her KCC Food Services Department colleagues have been hard at work for weeks setting the stage for a morning of delicious food, live entertainment and fellowship.

“I’m proud to be part of such a great team,” Hildorfer says of chefs Steven Nakata and Mark Oyama, along with Duane Miyasato and Melanie Bacio.

Now in its 31st year, the ACF Breakfast has become an island institution, growing from 400 guests back in 1986 to its present 2,000.

“In addition to the hard work of our faculty and staff, the Kauai chapter of the American Culinary Federation has been just wonderful,” she says. “They support our program and help prepare our students for employment by working side-by-side with them during the food prep for the breakfast.”

Money raised from the breakfast goes to scholarships, kitchen equipment, and professional development for the faculty.

“But the main focus is always on the students,” Hildorfer is quick to point out. “People enjoy seeing the culinary students hustle all morning,” she says with a smile.

Sunday’s menu includes Eggs Benedict, omelets cooked to order, carved grilled beef teriyaki, pancakes, fresh fruits and freshly-made pastries.

Since coming to KCC in 2005, Hildorfer has seen a number of changes in the Food Services program, all of them positive. In 2007 the program became accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission. And in 2010 they received an exemplary accreditation reaffirmation in 2010.

“That’s a true seal of approval,” Hildorfer says. “It means that we create public trust by ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and current best practices. It also gives us a great marketing tool for recruiting students.”

Partially with monies raised at past ACF breakfasts, the KCC Food Services program opened a state-of-the-art demo kitchen and classroom in 2012.

“I think a lot of people come to the ACF Breakfast because they know that all of the money raised will be going to some wonderful causes,” including providing money each month for Salvation Army meals for the needy.

“We couldn’t do this alone, and we get so much support from the community and local businesses,” Hildorfer says. “The Marriott, the Sheraton, the Hukilau Lanai restaurant, Kalaheo coffee, Meadowgold Dairy, Kauai Coffee, Kauai Spring Water … there’s not enough room to list them all. Most of the food and utensils is donated or sold at greatly reduced cost. Plus, we work with Zero Waste Kauai to minimize any trash going into the landfill.”

The all-island collaboration includes KCC club members from the Pamantasan, nursing, and HOST clubs. Live music will be provided throughout the morning by the KCC Stage Band.

“It’s wonderful to be part of something that involves so many people,” Hildorfer says. “In fact, one local resident told me that the breakfast is the highlight of his year.”

Sunday’s ACF Breakfast runs from 7 to 11 a.m. Tickets are $20 in advance for adults, $25 at the door. Children ages 5 through 12 are $5, and kids under 5 are free.

Advance sale tickets may be purchased at Brick Oven Pizza (Kalaheo only), Dani’s Restaurant in Lihue, Fish Express Lihue, Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Company, Kalena’s Fish Market in Hanamaulu, Kauai Coffee Visitor Center, the KCC Cafeteria, Koloa Fish Market, Mark’s Place Puhi, MCS Grill Hanapepe, Pono Market Kapaa, Sole Mates Kapaa, Sone’s Deli and Catering Kukui Grove.

For more information on the ACF Culinary Breakfast, call Chef Martina Hildorfer at 245-8265.

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