Gala Aids Future Chefs, Farmers

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival officials presented $210,000 to its five nonprofit beneficiaries during a special reception last week in Kapiolani Community College's Ka 'Ikena dining room. Present were (from left) Hawaii Agricultural Foundation president Dean Okimoto ($80,000), Paepae o He'eia executive director Hi'ilei Kawelo ($10,000), Papahana Kuaola's hanaola director Rick Barboza ($10,000), festival co-chairmen Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, Leeward Community College chief academic officer Michael Pecsok and UH vice president of community colleges John Morton. Also, KCC's Culinary Institute of the Pacific received $80,000, and LCC's Culinary Arts Program $30,000. Photo from Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.

The effects of too much good food and fine wine are long-lasting, and no one knows this better than five nonprofit groups that just received bonus checks, representing proceeds from a gala gastronomic event last fall.

The 2012 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival earned more than $200,000 for good causes, drawing a sold-out crowd of hungry and thirsty patrons. Then on Feb. 4, the festival’s co-chairmen, chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, shared that bounty among the nonprofit groups at a mahalo reception in Kapiolani Community College’s Ka ‘Ikena Restaurant.

Recipients are KCC’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, Leeward Community College and two Kaneohe ag projects, Paepae o He’eia and Papahana Kuaola. Many students from KCC and LCC also worked side-by-side with dozens of chefs to make the 4,000-guest festival a success.