Kitchen Is ‘KEY’ For Cook Class

What’s cooking at KEY Project these days? Two chefs teaching “A Culinary Experience” in the community center’s Kipuka Cafe, that’s what.

Classes begin Feb. 3 with chefs Ken Weir and Richard Wagner for adults interested in learning fundamental kitchen and baking skills. Fee is $25 for each six-week program or $35 for both (ending March 14). Classes are limited to 10 students per unit, and they must provide their own uniform (under-shirt, long pants, non-skid black shoes, socks) plus notebook and pen.

Weir, who manages KEY’s new commercial kitchen, will teach Introduction to Fundamental Kitchen Skills from noon to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Master pastry chef Wagner will teach Beginning Baking/Pastry from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

“We’re excited about what this might turn into,” said John Reppun, executive director of KEY (Kualoa-Heeia Ecumenical Youth Project). Since opening the kitchen, the nonprofit agency has experienced a surge in food-related activities and services that support its mission to empower the community and foster self-reliance in its residents.

The kitchen also has users who prepare their own food in the facility, it has landed several outside catering gigs and can now feed private events held on site.

The classes are designed to prepare students for entry-level work in the culinary field. Reppun noted that “students should be ready, willing and able” after earning their certificate at course’s end. Participants also will demonstrate what they’ve learned by helping to plan, prepare and implement a KEY Project-sponsored food event. Additional units are scheduled for March 31-May 2 and May 19-June 27.

For more details, call Kala’i at 380-7431 or email