Maison du Savoir, an event presented by the Hawai‘i Lodging &Tourism Association Kaua‘i Chapter, the American Culinary Federation Kaua‘i Chapter and Kaua‘i Community College culinary-arts program, was all about the students Wednesday at the college’s fine dining facility.
Tevyn Hardesty, a student in the garde manger class, was assigned to spending the event pulling mozzarella balls for the 150 guests at the sold-out event.
“Hurry, you take over for Tevyn,” said Chef Martina Hilldorfer to student Jaime Mararagan. “And wear double gloves. It’s so hot Tevyn’s gloves are crispy already.”
The event was presented by the HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter as a venue for raising funds for scholarships, said Dan King, HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter president.
Guests at the gathering that has been selling out since its inception were treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet that included champagne and a variety of foods prepared by the garde manger students. Additionally, students in a baking class whipped up two dozen “sinfully delicious” creations.
“This is really good for the students,” said Steve Nakata, a culinary-arts instructor. “This gives them experience in working with diners, something they don’t get unless they have a job in a restaurant.”
Students in the garde manger class get the basic garde manger principles as well as the functions and duties of the department as it relates to and integrates with other kitchen operations. Students learn the preparation of specialty items such as aspices, chaud-froids, forcemeat, pates, terrines, galantines, mousses, as well as ice sculpturing, tallow sculpturing and vegetable carving during the class that runs seven and a half weeks.
“Everyone had to do tallow sculpturing,” Hardesty said. “The theme was a marine animal.”
Ice sculptures dotted the dining area, anchoring preparations that included three methods of preparing salmon — gravlax, smoked and maple, as well as shrimp cocktail, beef Wellington, handmade sausages, hand-pulled mozzerella balls, various pates, cheeses, pickles and terrines.
“Oh, good,” a customer announced as a culinary-arts student appeared with a tray of lamb to join the beef Wellington carving station. “The mozzerella balls are really good, and I like the shrimp, but it’s time to go back for more.”
The students will next be in action May 9 during the 42nd annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk presented by the HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter. They will be working alongside chefs and culinary departments of different resorts and restaurants participating in providing breakfast for the estimated 2,000 walkers and volunteers expected at the Vidinha Stadium soccer fields.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.