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Cutting Edge: Local culinary students students learn about fading ice art

August 28, 2013By Carolyn Lucas-Zenk West Hawaii Today clucas-zenk@westhawaiitoday.comEnthusiastic questions from 27 area culinary students and their teachers were occasionally muffled Wednesday by the roar of a chainsaw inside the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalow’s banquet kitchen. Clifford Goto, one of the hotel’s cooks, captivated his audience with every cut, gouge and groove he made in a giant block of ice. Armed with tools, including razor-sharp chisels and a five-pronged fork, Goto transformed the ice into an angelfish swimming in front of seaweed. The ice carving class and hotel kitchen tour showcased a unique partnership that’s helping educate and inspire the next generation of chefs. Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation is a nonprofit providing culinary students statewide access to the best knowledge and exposure to cutting-edge techniques through a variety of programs with local, national and internationally known chefs and food experts. Every semester, on every island, the foundation provides financial and professional resources toward activities that enhance the scope of learning, said Hayley Matson-Mathes, the foundation’s executive director. The idea for Wednesday’s program came from Paul Heerlein, an assistant professor and Culinary Arts Program coordinator at the University of Hawaii Center at West Hawaii. He wanted to expose the students to another side of the culinary arts — one that turns the mundane necessity of keeping food cold into an art. He hoped the students would recognize the art’s worth, how they can make a good living doing it, and how learning the skill may give them an advantage when applying for jobs. Ice sculpting typically falls under the duties of garde manger. These chefs have a broad base of culinary skills, and are responsible for preparing and presenting food, usually cold items, in the most attractive and palatable manner, Heerlein said. The art of ice sculpting seems to be fading, Heerlein said. These elegant creations are no longer regular fixtures at brunches, seafood buffets, sushi bars, holiday parties and special occasions. Many hotels have cut back or stopped making ice sculptures because of the associated costs and lack of suppliers who can provide the proper kind of ice. The ice used Wednesday was specifically made for sculpting and the closest place to buy it was Ice Sculptures by Darren Ho on Maui. The foundation purchased two 100-pound ice blocks, which were transported via a Young Brothers Co. barge that had to stop on Oahu before coming to Hawaii Island. Direct Freight Service Hawaii in Kailua-Kona also provided assistance. It cost about $500 for the ice and transportation services, Matson-Mathes said. Such expenses make ice sculpting uneconomical to teach, especially if nearly 30 ice blocks are required. Nor does it seem practical since the college doesn’t have a large enough walk-in freezer to use for such an activity, Heerlein said. Still, it’s something he and fellow instructors Patti Kimball and Betty Saiki have an appreciation for. In addition to his culinary skills, Goto learned ice sculpting at Kapiolani Community College on Oahu. He was taught by the late Walter Schiess, a former chef and food service instructor at the college. Schiess was also a national and international gold medal winner for his ice carvings. A swan was the first thing Goto carved. It took him about five years and lots of practice to master the craft. Spending hours working on a piece that will eventually be a puddle doesn’t bother Goto, who said he likes that aspect because it means he’ll always have a new canvas. Tempering the ice before carving is required. Goto talked about the importance of making confident cuts, working quickly and letting the art be what it is. The latter includes reworking the design or accepting a modification when the unexpected occurs. Goto estimated he’s sculpted at least 80 to 100 ice blocks since learning the art more than 30 years ago. His creations typically sell for $200 to $500, depending on the size and design. Sculptors typically require an hour or more to carve a single block. Goto said he was naturally drawn to ice sculpting because he enjoys art and seems to have a flair for it. Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows Executive Chef Clayton Arakawa agreed with his assessment, adding Goto is his go-to guy for anything artistic at the hotel, from ice sculptures to sushi. Wednesday’s program allowed the first- and second-year culinary students an opportunity to build connections with professional chefs in their community, which could later lead to jobs, internships or other learning opportunities. Arakawa shared lessons learned and how he got to where he is today. He spoke about his passion about giving back and helping cooks move up the ranks. He also offered helpful advice, talked about his favorite dishes and shared his love of history. Arakawa attended St. Louis High School in Honolulu before moving to and graduating from Northern Arizona University. There, he discovered his passion and curiosity for food, which led him to attend Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, Ore. He’s worked at the Crazy Mountain Ranch in Montana, Sundance Resort, and Grand Wailea Resort on Maui. In Montana, he learn how to bake his own breads. At the Grand Wailea Resort, he was the banquet chef — a difficult position that often required fast thinking and acting, along with meeting challenges creatively. Arakawa came to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows last year because he enjoys using the best and freshest locally grown ingredients, as well as working closely with local farmers and ranchers — both of which can be done on Hawaii Island. Throughout his talk, he encouraged the students to engage with their teachers and embrace every opportunity to learn from another chef.

Culinary Students Get Familiar with Fish

March 08, 2013 12:15 am  •  Dennis Fujimoto - The Garden Island  LIHU‘E — Culinary students had an opportunity to get an up-close experience with some unusual ingredients Thursday during the Hawai‘i Culinary Education Foundation presentation at the Kaua‘i Community College. Chef George Mavrothalassitis, chef and owner of Chef Mavro restaurant and winner of the James Beard Award, was joined by Brooks Takenaka of the United Fishing Agency in working with fresh fish at the KCC fine dining facility. “It’s very important to me that future Hawai‘i chefs appreciate the highest quality local ingredients,” Mavro said. “These workshops give advanced culinary students a chance to work with ingredients they may not encounter in school, such as whole lamb and whole fish.” Ahead of the actual culinary preparation, Takenaka took the students through an overview of the sustainable Hawai‘i fishing industry. He broke down an ahi, and Mavro prepared seared bigeye and spicy ahi as part of the Center-of-the-Plate-Workshops under the sponsorship of the Hawai‘i Culinary Education Foundation. Takenaka, with more than 30 years of professional experience in the Hawai‘i fishing and seafood industries, has been the assistant general manager of the Honolulu Fish Auction, which is operated by the United Fishing Agency. The fish auction plays a pivotal industry role in fishery operations and seafood safety, which affects its clients, mostly fishermen, and its customers, which are seafood buyers and consumers, according to the Hawai‘i Culinary Education Foundation. Visit for more information.

Food Science in the Professional Kitchen with Chef Jon Matsubara

A HCEF January class featuring Chef de Cuisine Jon Matsubara of AZURE, the fine dining venue at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel (A Luxury Collection Resort) was attended by 63 Leeward Community College students. Chef Matsubara demonstrated the "antigriddle" which instantly freezes to -30 degrees F creating frozen ice cream sandwiches, grapes, pancakes, and popsicles. He also prepared emulsifiers, thickeners, starch modifiers; enzymes/protein binders demonstrating ways to save food costs.  The visual techniques illustrated practical applications for the professional kitchen focusing on the ultimate guest dining experience. AZURE Sous Chef Shaymus Alwin, who studied Sous Vide under Chef Thomas Keller at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, showed Sous Vide techniques used on fruits, vegetables and proteins. Chef Matsubara is a graduate with distinction from New York's  French Culinary Institute and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington.  He has worked in prestigious kitchens in New York and Honolulu before assuming the helm of AZURE.

Rose Levy Beranbaum

A HCEF December master class featuring Rose Levy Beranbaum, the most meticulous cook who has ever lived, was attended by 75 LCC and KCC culinary students, instructors and professional chefs at Leeward Community College. Rose demonstrated recipes from Rose's Heavenly Cakes including "Chocolate Passion Cake" and "Golden Lemon Cake." The program was interspersed with baking expertise and culinary wisdom. Rose's first book, The Cake Bible, was the 1989 winner of the IACP/Seagram Book of the Year and the NASFT Showcase Award for the cookbook that has contributed most to educating the consumer about specialty foods. A culinary best-seller, The Cake Bible was listed by the James Beard Foundation as one of the top 13 baking books on "the Essential Book List." Rose's Christmas Cookies, was the 1990 winner of the James Beard Best Book in the Dessert and Baking Category. The Pie and Pastry Bible, published in 1998, received many kudos including: Food & Wine Books "Best of the Best: The Best Recipes from the Best Cookbooks of the Year" and Coffee & Cuisine "Best Cookbook" award. Rose's comprehensive book, The Bread Bible, was the 2003 winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in the Best Bread Book Category. It was listed by Publisher's Weekly and Food & Wine as one of the top ten books of 2003, and by Fine Cooking as one of the top 12. MAHALO to...... • Rose's assistant Woody Wolston and local baker Hector Wong who provided culinary and equipment support • LCC Chefs Mike Scully and Don Maruyama and the Leeward Community College culinary arts program • Michael Mathes who assisted with program set up • The Halekulani Hotel for supporting the program

Chef Alan Wong Teaches Hilo HCEF Class

Chef Alan Wong led 76 Hawaii Community College students and instructors in a comprehensive exploration of flavor and palate development based upon his International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award-winning book, "The Blue Tomato."   Visit Blue Tomato Website. The students participated in tastings of beef, goat cheese, chocolate, passion fruit juice, and coffee.  Chef Wong reviewed Hawaii Regional Cuisine and the ethnic influences. He was assisted by his team:  Leigh Ito, Vice President Development;  Nicole Ng, Marketing Manager; Michelle Karr-Ueoka, Pastry Chef; Gilbert Arangure, Sous Chef and Cherie Yuen, Restaurant Manager. Chef Wong, a Hawaii Regional Cuisine founding chef and James Beard award winner, encouraged supporting local farmers and producers.  He offered motivational and professional advice about seeking a career and succeeding in the business. Here is what the students had to say about the program: It helped me expand my thoughts Inspirational and motivational Helped me to define my goals I learned more than cooking--life lessons

Stollen Topic of Maui Culinary Academy Program November 2012

A Maui Culinary Academy HCEF class focused on the tradition and history of stollen.  Executive Pastry Chef Rodney Weddle, La Tour Bakehouse, taught the workshop which was equal parts science, art, and history. Chef Weddle shared his passion for baking stollen, a buttery German Christmas bread originating in the 1400's. Maui Culinary Academy Director Chris Speere said about the program:  "The work HCEF and you do is very important to our students. The Maui Culinary Academy recognizes that our best effort to prepare our students adequately for the high expectations of our culinary profession is of critical value and importance. We are honored to work in collaboration with HCEF and Hayley Matson-Mathes in support of student learning.  We are immensely delighted to have HCEF as partner in our Academy's continual quest to develop culinary excellence in our students." Chef instructor Teresa Shurilla said that the program was equally valuable to her as a bakery instructor.  I learned new and improved techniques.  I am always looking at ways to enhance my teaching and these programs offer that opportunity.

Stone Fruit Program at LCC Fall 2012

One of the goals of HCEF programming is providing students with new tastes and culinary experiences.  Kingsburg Orchards (Calif.) and Armstrong Produce  presented an HCEF Stone Fruit program for 65 Leeward Community College students and their instructors. Chef San Shoppell, chef-owner of Destination Chef, demonstrated fresh and flavorful recipes using pluots and local produce.  Chef San, a recent honors graduate of the Kapi'olani Community College's Culinary Institute of the Pacific with both Culinary and Pastry Arts Degrees, led the 2009 ACF Student Team to the National Championship. Bill Slattery, a Kingsburg Orchards produce veteran, provided background on the stone fruits produced in the San Joaquim Valley by five generations of family farmers.  For more information and recipes visit Kingsburg Orchards.  The students participated in tastings of pluots, plums, apple pears, and peaches. Grilled Stone Fruit and Tomato SaladChef San Shoppell, CC and CPCYield: 4Start to Finish Time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 4 Pluots - cut into wedges (about 1 ½ cups)1 pint Cherry Tomatoes  - cut in half1 medium Sweet Onion - thinly sliced1 cup Purslane Leaves16 Fresh Mint Leaves - chiffinade½ cup Feta Cheese crumbles2-3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe noted below)Salt - to tasteFresh Ground Black Pepper - to taste Method: Heat the grill or a heavy frying pan, griddle or skillet to very hot. Place the wedges of fruit on the hot grill or pan, turn to grill each side. Remove from heat to cool on a plate. Cut the wedges into bite size pieces. Reserving some of the mint for garnish.  In a medium bowl gently toss all the ingredients with the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Best to be served immediately.(Note: Purslane can be replaced with arugla.) Apple Cider VinaigretteYield: ¼ cupStart to Finish: 5 minutes Ingredients: 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (1 oz)7 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (3.5 oz)1 teaspoon Agave Syrup (or honey)Salt and White Pepper To Taste Method:Whisk olive oil into vinegar Add agave syrup Season with salt and pepperShort cut: shake all ingredients in a tightly covered jar Here is what the students had to say about the program: Yes, I liked learning about where our food comes from I had a chance to taste new foods, the program inspired me  Yes, I learned about stonefruit and farm fresh fruits and their importance in the culinary world. I learned about stone fruit varieties 

Chefs Kenney and Caldeiro: Whole Hog workshop.

Chefs Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero, TOWN Restaurant, taught an HCEF whole hog workshop at Kauai Community College.  Farmer Val Kaneshiro, from the century old Kaneshiro Hog Farm, Koloa Kauai, shared her expertise and challenges raising Yorkshire, Duroc, and Berkshire hogs.Chefs Kenney and Caldiero showed students how to use every part of the animal and illustrated the financial and community benefits of using locally produced foods.  Students had an opportunity to taste test a variety of charcuterie and even blood pasta. The chefs shared their philosophy for "local first, organic whenever possible, with Aloha always."  

Wine Education with Young’s Market

Pat Okubo and David Gochros taught a two  part HCEF introductory wine education class for Aaron Chau's Dining Service class, Kapiolani Community College.  The class focused on wine regions, terrior, learning to taste wine, and the wine business.  The second HCEF class on Sept. 10 will cover wine and food pairing. Pat Okubo is a Master Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS).  Patrick is currently the youngest Master Sommelier in North America.  Pat is the Fine Wine Specialist and Wine Educator for Young's Market Hawaii. David Gochros, Advanced Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator and Certified Specialist of Spirits is Young's Market Company's Director of Fine Wines and Retail strategy. David has over 30 years of experience in the Wine & Spirits business and serves on the HCEF Advisory Board.

Chef Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers — 10 plus!

  FLOUR Bakery + Cafe Chef Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers, Myers + Chang, presented three outstanding programs -- one for the general public at the Halekulani Hotel and two at Kapiolani Community College for students and professionals.Chef Chang and Christopher Myers shared humor, personal insights into their business philosophies as well as pastry/baking expertise.Who attended: 115 chefs, cooks, special guests and business owners from Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai and Maui 118 students/instructors from Kapiolani, West Hawaii, Leeward, and Hilo Community Colleges 130 Halekulani Hotel attendees Professional comments:  Wonderful!//10 out of 10//Exceeded all expectations//Great as always//Very thorough and wonderful attitude//Very informational.  I loved the personal stories//Great baking tips and advice on running a bakery Student comments:  Yes, I was hoping for a program to inspire me and this one did so exceptionally//IT WAS FUN!//Exceeded, they are amazing!!//The information on how to get a job was just what I needed now//Far exceeded, so inspiring and informational//Yes, I learned a lot about the business//Exceptional, informative educational and helpful to a graduating student in pastry arts/culinary arts. Chef Chang's visit was made possible by:  Kapiolani Community College in cooperation with the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation, funded by the Lyle L. Guslander Distinguished Visitors Program.  Special thanks to:  Halekulani Chef Vikram Garg, Pastry Chef Mark Freischmidt, General Manager Gerald Glennon and the Halekulani staff Chefs David Brown and Alan Tsuchiyama -- KCC students   Armstrong Produce Joan Namkoong Chef Chang was nominated for a James Beard award.  Flour has been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Lucky Magazine, Inc. Magazine, and Boston Magazine and has received numerous Best of Boston awards. Flour was also featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network in which Joanne's sticky buns won over Chef Flay's.

Chef Chai Teaches at Leeward Community College

  Chef Chai, owner of award-winning Chai's Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine, shared his personal business philosophy and tenets of Thai cuisine with 55 Leeward Community College students on January 30.  Chai is a cookbook author, star of his own cooking show and the Executive Chef for Hawaiian Airlines.    Chef Chai prepared Thai Red Chicken Curry with Bamboo Shoots and Fresh Basil and Grilled New York Steak Salad with Big Island Baby Greens & Lemongrass-Garlic Dressing from The Island Bistro Cookbook.  In the process, he explained the  ingredients used in Thai cooking and the keys to business success.   Here is what the students had to say about their experience:    It was very inspiring.  If you have passion, drive and the right attitude you can do anything//Yes, loved the demonstration and his willingness to answer questions//Yes, it was more than cooking!//He perfectly explained where he came from and how he achieved success.  

Chef Ernesto Limcaco Teaches Foundation Class at West Hawaii Campus

Y. Hata Corporate Executive Chef Ernesto Limcaco, presented a HCEF culinary demonstration at the West Hawaii campus.  The class emphasized the versatility of eggs and foams.  Chef Ernesto simplified souffles offering traditional and creative ideas.  He shared his passion for the culinary field emphasizing hard work and preparation.  Chef Ernesto has established a mentorship program with both the community colleges and military culinarians.   Here is what the students said:  Not only did he talk about food, but he encouraged us to explore and travel//Your imagination is the limit//He gave us more than tips on eggs and souffles, but tips on how to survive and be successful in the culinary world//10+//I learned about the science of serving people//It was cool and I learned some things I can use right away--like how to survive in a professional kitchen 

Golf Tournament — Save the Date

The Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation Golf Tournament is slated for April 23, 2012. 

Whole Hog

Chef Ed Kenney and Chef David Caldiero, TOWN and DownTown Restaurants, taught a Foundation "From Nose to Tail" program for 56 Maui Culinary Academy students and professionals. The Oahu Chefs presented charcuterie and explained how to use the entire pig.  They detailed sustainability and cost benefits teaching the "why" behind using locally grown and produced. Chef Kenney and his business partner Chef Dave Caldiero are strong advocates for local farmers and proponents for sustainable cooking and living.  Their restaurants are lively community gathering places guided by the mantra, "local first, organic whenever possible, with aloha always." Here is what the students had to say about their experience:  I was amazed at the knowledge and involvement of the chefs // They were so expressive; they know their craft // Nice to see "cool" guys expressing these culinary issues // I loved the break down of pork - I have never seen a whole hog // I left with a knowledge of food cost, community and how to use every piece of a hog // It blew my mind, very graphic // I had no idea there were so many uses for a whole hog   

Hank’s Haute Dogs

Hank Adaniya, Hank's Haute Dogs,  shared his expertise with Kauai Community College students as a part of Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation programming.  He interested students with his background in fine dining as renowned owner of Trio Restaurant, Chicago.  Hank moved to Hawaii and created a unique vision to elevate the hot dog to haute cuisine in the Islands.  His creativity flourished with lobster dogs, alligator dogs and other culinary innovations.  The students learned from his marketing expertise and flavor profile exploration.Students taste tested Kosher, Kobe, natural casing and skinless hot dogs.  They sampled a variety of innovative toppings including poi BBQ, Curry Ketchup, and Hoisen-Ginger Mustard.  The ultimate tasting was enjoying foie gras haute dogs and shaking fries seasoned to taste with furikake, togarashi, herbs, and cheeses.

Chef Mavro Teaches at US Pacific Command

Chef Mavro taught a Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation Master Class at United States Pacific Command.  The class covered the fundamentals of Sauces and Stocks focusing on classic technique and modern applications.  Chef Mavro shared secrets to perfecting consomme, buerre blanc, Sauce Bordelaise, Buerre Rouge, White Wine Creamy Sauce, Tomato Sauce and Essence of Pinot Noir.Chef Mavro is a James Beard award-winner, one of the founding members of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, and is listed as one of the top eleven French Chefs working in America.Here is what military members said:  "Chef made magic from scratch."  // "The training was great."  // "He made things healthier without cream and butter.  The taste was still amazing."

Leeward Community College Students Learn from Chef Ernesto Limcaco

Chef Ernesto Limcaco, Y.Hata Corporate Chef, taught a class on foams, meringues and souffles.  Here is what the students said about Eggs-ology 101: This was entertaining and fun//Yes, I learned new food terms//Yes, I didn't know what a soufflé was until today//Entertaining//I liked how soufflé structure changed during cooling//Gave me a better idea of what it means to be a chef//Yes, it was like being at the Food Network cooking show with ME in the audience

Chef Steven Ariel Teaches

Chef Steven Ariel, Chef de Cuisine Bistro Luc, Seattle, taught a Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation class. One hundred Hilo and West Hawaii culinary students attended the program sponsored by the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation. Chef Ariel presented his personal culinary philosophy and shared his career path with the audience. He is a graduate of the West Hawaii Culinary program. Students sampled Chef Ariel's creations: Papa Pomodoro with Fresh Ricotta, Grilled Octupus with Harissa, Preserved Lemon and Parsley Sauce and Pan Seared Salmon with Porcini Mushrooms, Dried Fig-Red Wine Sauce.