News

Popular chefs share cooking chops with local students

Some of Maui’s popular chefs are sharing their star status and knowledge with Maui high school students in an effort to inspire a future wave of culinary talent on the Valley Isle. Lanai City-raised chef Adam Tabura, who won the Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” was recently at King Kekaulike High School, where he mentored 160 students over two days. “We talk about them mostly, what they want to do, but hopefully I’ve inspired them,” Tabura said, who taught the students how to make Hollandaise sauce last month while he was on the island for business and promoting his new products and cookbook. Tabura added that even if the students don’t want to be chefs, he is there to give guidance. Tabura is part of the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation’s High School Chef Mentoring program. On Maui, he is joined by three other chefs mentoring at high schools: Ryan Luckey of Leilani’s on the Beach, at Lahainaluna High; Kyle Kawakami of Maui Fresh Streatery food truck, at Maui High; and Tylun Pang of Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, at Baldwin High.

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Celebrated chef shares his story

Credit: Honolulu Star Advertiser The hottest food trend on the mainland right now is something we in Hawaii have taken for granted for generations: poke. Chef Sam Choy hopes it’s not just a flash in the pan, he told culinary educators at a workshop. Not because he just opened Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max in Seattle after finding success with food trucks there, but because, as he said, “it’s a true taste of Hawaii.” His Seattle restaurant brings in 1,000 pounds of ahi each week from Hawaii, Choy said. The Hawai‘i Culinary Education Foundation staged the workshop at ChefZone on Thursday to give high school and community college culinary teachers insights into Choy’s career journey. The educators got to see a demonstration of classic and contemporary poke dishes, and watched the chef prepare a dish from a box of mystery ingredients, among other things.

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Golf tournament to benefit culinary non-profit

The eighteenth Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, April 11, 2016 at the Kapolei Golf Course. Tournament proceeds benefit the culinary nonprofit dedicated to culinary education in Hawaii.

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Let’s Talk Food: Chef with Hilo roots

Chef Jon Matsubara, culinary executive director for Bloomingdale’s at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, has roots in Hilo.

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Seattle chef – Tom Douglas puts veggies front and center

What’s the difference between “hard char” and “burnt”? Burnt is a mistake, while a nicely charred vegetable is the product of a deliberate act that caramelizes the natural sugars to produce a bittersweetness. A vegetable like that can take the center of a $15 plate in a restaurant like Tom Douglas’ new Carlile Room in downtown Seattle. “It’s hard to get the idea of ‘hard char’ across so you don’t feel freaky about it,” Douglas said Monday as he showed off a slice of pineapple bearing a solid charred crust. Read More >>

Dumpling making, All Day Wong

Chef Lee Anne Wong said cooks are just craftsmen. Television makes them famous. One of the stars on the public television series, “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking,” spent Tuesday morning with Kauai Community College culinary arts students. “It’s really good to have some of these (well-known) chefs to come and teach us,” said Angelito Roslin, a KCC student. “It shows us that we can achieve things we never would have thought we could.” Read more >>

Street-dish recipes provide head start on annual event

Take your taste buds on a tantalizing adventure through the streets of India at the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation’s annual benefit

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Chef Garg to prepare a lineup of Indian street fare

The four regions of India each have their own version of classic street foods, and within those regions the various states present their own variations, with individual cooks and families adding their own touches to the dishes, chef Vikram Garg said.

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Cooking Indian cuisine requires know-how about spices

In India, people eat four meals a day, said Vikram Garg, executive chef of the Halekulani, who was born and raised in India. “Breakfast is eaten early, lunch is served by noon and in the evening there’s a huge culture of going out and eating. Then there’s a late-night supper,” he said. All this chowing down has created a long tradition of street food, presented at open stands that offer one or two quick-prep items, ideal for snacking, a grab-and-go lunch for a busy businessman, or that late supper. These are the specialty of the cook, who’s often executing a family recipe passed down generationally, or after apprenticing with a master cook. Amazingly, “nothing is written down,” said Garg. “In fact, many of these cooks don’t read or write.” The chef is presenting some of those delicious morsels — from kebabs and chaat to vindaloo and uttapam (see the sidebar for descriptions) of various regions of India— at a benefit dinner Jan. 31 for the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation. The grazing dinner, with separate food stations offering dishes, will reflect the concept of street food in India. Garg, 45, spent some 20 years creating gourmet food across the globe, in such locales as Dubai and the Caribbean as well as both coasts of the U.S., before arriving in Hawaii. Yet he is not formally trained in Indian cooking. “There is no school in the world that teaches Indian cuisine,” he said. After training to become a chef, “in Indian kitchens I cooked French cuisine.” In contrast, with no recipes to guide a student, learning to cook Indian food means paying close attention, with both eyes and taste buds. “You learn by technique and tasting. You watch and taste and taste,” said Garg. A steep level of knowledge of spices is required for the successful Indian cook, from quality and varieties of individual spices to blending them. This involves particular proportions and cooking temperatures to achieve specific scents, flavors and textures. “It’s like choosing a perfume and how it interacts with your body chemistry,” said the chef. “It’s about how the mixed spices interact with your palate.” The operative word here is balance. “There’s a misconception that Indian food is spicy. It is, sometimes, but it still must be balanced. The tongue should be able to taste each spice,” he said. “It’s not about the heat, but about the nose and the palate.” Read More >>

Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation Golf Tournament

Midweek article on 17th annual Charity Golf Tournament at Kapolei Golf Coursehosted by Hawaii Culinary Foundation. Read Midweek article here >>

Leilani’s on the Beach mentors Maui culinary students

Two first-year students of the Maui Culinary Academy were recently hosted by Leilani's on the Beach for two full days working closely with Executive Chef Ryan Luckey. Read More >>

Ladies vs Gents: Whose cuisine will reign supreme?

So MW Restaurant is putting together a benefit dinner with a male vs. female lineup of culinary superstars. Which is heart-stopping enough (I know who I’m putting my money on), but I wanted to know more. “It all started because Lee Anne wanted to do a girls dinner, so last month we did one with Les Dames d’Escoffiers,” MW’s Michelle Karr-Ueoka says. >> Read more here

Chefs visit schools to inspire culinary students

All eyes were glued to Ronnie Capitle's deft hands as he anchored paper-thin slices of beets on a toothpick, twirling it as he went along to create a vivid vegetable rose in less than a minute. The same can be done with other produce, he said, demonstrating next with slices of a yellow-fleshed sweet potato. Capitle's mesmerizing handiwork kept his audience glued to his every word, his work punctuating his message: Excellence takes dedication, practice and patience. Read more >>

Chef Jackie Lau at Kauai Culinary Class

Roy's Executive Chef Jackie Lau taught an HCEF Kauai culinary class for 40 students.  The motivational class focused on how to succeed in the culinary profession.   In one of the student's words, "I learned how to be prepared for the culinary world."   Chef Jackie demonstrated mascarpone and ricotta cheeses and created a flavorful roasted vegetable salad giving many students their first taste of roasted fennel, hearts of palm, and even beets.