Prison Graduates Six Student Chefs
The menu was worthy of any fine-dining establishment: Caprese Salad Picks, Pork Bao Sliders, Chicken Roulade, Lilikoi Mandarin Ice Cream Crepes and more.
The chefs, however, were a little more unusual: a culinary class comprised of inmates at Women’s Community Correctional Center.
The six-woman Intermediate Cookery class celebrated its graduation with a gala lunch in late April at the Kailua facility.
“We spent hours meticulously learning and fine-tuning knife skills, perfecting precision cuts, broadening our vocabulary and gaining excessive calories,” said graduate Tricia Lee to the crowd’s laughter at the ceremony.
In addition to gaining real-world job skills, the students earned 14 college credits from University of Hawaii under the guidance of Kapiolani Community College chef instructor Lee Shinsato.
“The bond that they have — it’s going to last them for the rest of their lives,” Shinsato said at the luncheon.
“They learned a lot of teamwork. A lot of them resorted back to the old Hawaiian values of giving without even thinking of receiving something, which I think is a very, very big deal.”
Other menu items — all developed by the students — included Roasted Bell Pepper and Mushroom Duxelle Crostini, Crunchy Pea Salad, Udon Chicken Salad, Tandoori Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.