$20,000 For LCC Culinary Arts

The Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program was among 10 beneficiaries of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. Now in its third year, the festival raises money for culinary programs throughout the state.

The annual event was held in September, welcoming more that 5,000 guests to 17 events at eight venues on Maui and Oahu, including Ko Olina Resort.

“We are honored and humbled to give residents and visitors alike a world-class epicurean event inspired by the diverse culinary and cultural traditions of the Hawaiian Islands,” said event co-chairman Roy Yamaguchi. “Together with the visitor industry and local community, it’s exciting to help elevate Hawaii as a culinary destination while continuing to support our important beneficiaries.”

This year’s donations totaled $228,500. Other beneficiaries include the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, Maui County Farm Bureau, Paepae o Heeia, Papahana Kuaola, Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation, Maui Culinary Academy, Hawaii Seafood Council and The Ocean Institute.

LCC received $20,000. The college’s accredited program offers an associate degree and several certificates, as well as its popular campus fine-dining restaurant, The Pearl.

Hawaii Agricultural Foundation (a partner in establishing Kunia Agricultural Park) received $70,000.

Yamaguchi and event co-chairman Alan Wong, along with visitor industry officials, presented the checks during a ceremony Nov. 22 at Halekulani Hotel on behalf of the sold-out festival.

“The festival is a tremendous showcase of our culture, our people, our culinary students, and the food products from the Hawaiian Islands,” added Wong. “It’s inspiring to see people taste Hawaii now more than ever before, and to work for our future generations of farmers and chefs.”

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival has raised nearly $700,000 for local nonprofits since 2011. This year, students from the Leeward campus and other schools also had the chance to work alongside participating chefs.