Chefs And Stu­dents Join Forces For Kapolei Cul­tural Feast

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - West Oahu Sports -

Note: This ar­ti­cle was sub­mit­ted by Pauline Sato, ex­ec­u­tive and pro­gram di­rec­tor of Malama Learn­ing Center.

Who says Kapolei has no cul­ture of cui­sine? On Nov. 2, Cal­abash & Cooks, a fundraiser for the Malama Learn­ing Center (MLC), clearly demon­strated that good food ex­em­pli­fy­ing the “melt­ing pot” of Hawaii has a home in Kapolei.

More than 300 peo­ple at­tended the ben­e­fit on the grounds of Kapolei High School — a strong part­ner of MLC. Cre­ated as a means to raise funds and strengthen the links be­tween farm­ers, chefs, and stu­dents, Cal­abash & Cooks ac­com­plished all that and more.

Cal­abash & Cooks was thought­fully named to mimic the idea of bring­ing many cooks, both sea­soned and stu­dents alike, to­gether to cre­ate a cul­tural feast for guests. Pro­fes­sional chefs worked along­side Kapolei High’s culi­nary stu­dents to cre­ate mem­o­rable dishes us­ing lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents, or had cul­tural ties to the Is­lands.

It was a col­lab­o­ra­tion among staff, stu­dents, farms, chefs and MLC that cul­mi­nated in a night of good com­pany, good food, great en­ter­tain­ment — all to ben­e­fit MLC.

Em­ceed by KITV4’s Paula Akana, a Kapolei res­i­dent, Cal­abash & Cooks fea­tured some of Hawaii’s finest chefs and their con­nec­tions to their cul­tures and their co-producers. Celebrity Chef Lee Anne Wong ( Top Chef) served as the hon­orary chef chair­woman for the event along with co- chef chair­man Mark “Gooch” Noguchi from Pili Group. Other par­tic­i­pat­ing chefs were Kealoha Domingo (High­way Inn @ Kakaako), Mark Kaa­haaina (Kaa­haaina Café), Ori Ann Li (Ori Ann Li’s Ve­gan Kitchen), Dar­ryl Shinogi (Roy’s Ko Olina), Ed­die Maf­nas (Fire­house), Chris Okuhara (Miso & Ale), and Cyn­thia Pratt with her stu­dents from Hur­ri­cane Heat, Kapolei High’s culi­nary pro­gram.

To­gether, they pro­vided sump­tu­ous dishes (served on biodegrad­able ma­te­ri­als) in­clud­ing: pulehu Pa­pa­hana Kuaola ulu poke, ulu palasadas, pan-fried seafood cakes with MA‘O Sassy salad, Kimo’s pastele stew, sea as­para­gus and cu­cum­ber salad with mung bean long rice, seared misoy­aki salmon, chicken ke­laguen with red rice fi­nadene, ku­lana vinha d’ahlo, and ba­nana lumpia with vanilla ice cream. De­li­cious non­al­co­holic drinks in­cluded Ono Pops Hawai­ian soda, Morn­ing Glass Cof­fee + Café iced cof­fee and MLC’s spe­cialty or­ganic lime and hibis­cus drinks.

Cul­tural prac­ti­tion­ers from Kaala Learn­ing Center also demon­strated ku‘

i kalo (pound­ing taro) and lei mak­ing.

Kapolei High School’s in­volve­ment was in­te­gral to the suc­cess of this event. Not only did it pro­vide fa­cil­i­ties, but stu­dents from a va­ri­ety of pro­grams

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