High School Mentoring

What is the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation (HCEF) Chef Mentoring program all about?

Hawaii Chefs serve as mentors and guides to High School Culinary programs, providing a valuable resource – influencing tomorrow’s culinary leaders.

Chef mentors present real-world knowledge and experiences, coaching students on culinary/professional opportunities and requirements. Chef mentors provide overviews of the restaurant business, employment challenges, and the qualifications needed to become a chef. High School students hear directly from industry professionals exactly what education, work experiences, and skills they look for in bringing on new staff.

Chefs mentors develop interactive activities and culinary demonstrations to engage students in learning by doing such as: flavor development, knife skills, menu concepts / recipe development, culinary / farm tours, and visits to local restaurants and hotels.

Annually high school culinary teachers gather to learn from master chefs. Chef Alan Wong presented the 2015 workshop on local ingredients, flavors, and palate development. Chef Sam Choy presented the 2016 Poke experience and Chef Jackie Lau presented the 2017 Educators’ workshop focused on plating and whole fish.  In 2018, Chef Lee Anne Wong demonstrated fresh local flavors and ingredients for high school educators providing classroom applications. Teachers experienced a 2019 HCEF tour of Armstrong Produce and visited North Shores Farms: Twin Bridge and Kahuku Farms.  A webinar on “Food Safety in the COVID Conscious Classroom” was on the 2020 HCEF schedule. 

Who are the Chef Mentor Coordinators and How Can My High School Get Involved? Hayley Matson-Mathes, Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation, hawaiiculinaryfoundation@gmail.com

Oahu Chef Mentor coordinator, Hayley Matson-Mathes

Hawaii  Island Coordinator, Chef Patti Kimball

Maui Island Coordinator, Hayley Matson-Mathes

Kauai Island Coordinator, Duane Miyasato

High Schools Participating in Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation (HCEF) Chef Mentoring

Big Island:

  • Konawaena
  • Kealakehe
  • Honokaa
  • Hilo
  • Waiakea
  • Kea’au
  • Pahoa
  • Kohala


  • Baldwin (x2 classes)
  • King Kekaulike
  • Lahaina Luna
  • Maui High School


  • Kapaa
  • Waimea


  • Aiea
  • Campbell
  • Castle
  • Farrington
  • Kahuku
  • Kailua
  • Kalaheo
  • Kalani
  • Kaimuki
  • Kaiser
  • Kapolei
  • Leilehua
  • Mililani
  • McKinley
  • Moanalua
  • Nanakuli
  • Olomanu
  • Pearl City
  • Radford
  • Roosevelt
  • Waialua
  • Waianae
  • Waipahu

















Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation

High School Educators Program

The HCEF provides Hawaii’s culinary students and professionals access to cutting-edge knowledge and techniques through programs featuring visiting chefs, educational opportunities, and special fund raising events. The Foundation supports culinary professionals sharing their knowledge with Island students.