‘Pancake-itis’ strikes at ACF event

Bailey Ponce said she had so many pancakes, she got pancake-itis Sunday during the American Culinary Federation Breakfast at Kauai Community College.

Ponce, whose dad Bryson was helping the lineup of chefs working with the KCC culinary arts students, was among the more than 1,400 diners who enjoyed their morning meal bundled against the bite of the northerly winds. Diners also had the opportunity to pick up bargains at the ceramics sale hosted by the Pot Heads, a ceramics students group led by instructor Wayne Miyata, and freshly harvested honey and beeswax products from the KCC apiary program.

“This only comes once a year so we can’t miss it,” said Christina Hernandez. “The price is right, and the food is very good.”

The breakfast serves as a fundraiser for KCC culinary arts program scholarships, and other program expenses.

“Jim Braman — he’s the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism, Kauai Chapter president — gave $4,400 in scholarships,” said Sandi Kato-Klutke of the HLTA, Kauai Chapter. “These monies went as scholarships to students who will be helping with the upcoming Visitor Industry Golf Tournament which will play at the Hokuala Golf Club.”

Executive Chef Michael Young of the Sheraton Kauai Resort said the breakfast serves as a training ground for the students.

“We didn’t have an opening at the resort,” Young said. “But we created a position so we could have this student come to work at the property at least twice a week. My wife was ordering an omelet and I recognized this student who I worked with last year. He was shy and very tentative about making his omelet. I told him he needed to own the dish, and I threw it on the ground. ‘That’s the worst thing that can happen to you,’ I told him. He recognized me and flashed a big smile.”

Diners enjoyed their meals under a big tent filled with the sounds of musical ensembles led by Sarah Tochiki and Kevin Toma. That was a prelude to the presentation of scholarships by Duane Miyasato and Chef Martina Hilldorfer of the KCC culinary arts department.

Charlee Balisa, Aillean Defontorum, Gilson Guillermo, Michael Hidalgo, Nia Klutke, Tori Pagador, McKenna Pascua, Dazmon Sasil, James Thomas, Casey Ching-Pacheco, Christopher Corpuz, Mark Isoshima, Yvonne Difontorum, Austin Manipon- Hamada, Jae Mar Manuel and Julie Anne Rose Marquez were among the field of students who were called from their work stations to receive scholarships from Hawaii Gas, the Watase Scholarship, the Gondring Scholarship, American Culinary Federation, the Fries Scholarship and the Rotary Club of Poipu.

“This is such a great way to give back to the community,” Young said.

“We love working here, and this is a fun way to help the students while giving people an opportunity to enjoy.”

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