Food/Wine Fest A Bonus For East’s Collegiate Culinary Students

This fall’s Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, which included the involvement of 250 culinary students from Kapiolani Community College and three other schools, was able to raise nearly $700,000 for food-related programs throughout the state.

Awards to 10 Hawaii nonprofits were presented Nov. 22 at Halekulani Hotel on behalf of the sold-out festival. The third annual event was held in September, welcoming more than 5,000 guests to 17 events at eight venues on Maui and Oahu. On the agenda was a lesson at KCC from the pros on high-stress cooking competitions, which drew an audience of 120.

Culinary Institute of the Pacific received $80,000 from the fund. When fully funded and completed at the former Fort Ruger Cannon Club, the institute will build on the award-winning two-year degree course at Kapiolani Community College.

“The festival is a tremendous showcase of our culture, our people, our culinary students and the food products from the Hawaiian Islands,” said Chef Alan Wong, who co-chaired the festival with colleague Roy Yamaguchi. “It’s inspirational to see people taste Hawaii now more than ever before, and to work for our future generations of farmers and chefs.”