Article By Sharon Narimatsu
Photos by Gordon Nihei
“We dined at the Michelin two-starred restaurant ‘Commis’ in Oakland recently, and this dinner prepared by the KCC students was so much better,” was a comment from one of the 41 impressed diners at the February 28 event sponsored by the HJCC Tasters Club at the college.
The menu was a Gold Medal Award selection of courses, all artistically created and matched by exquisite flavors that delighted the palates of Chamber members and guests. Pairing each course with wine was Master Sommelier Roberto Viernes, whose breadth of knowledge about the world of wines made for a great learning experience for all.
Conversation flowed easily among the diners with lots of laughter in the air, making for a delightful evening of experimenting with exceptional food and wine pairings.
Since 2002, Kapiolani Community College has been participating in the American Culinary Federation’s nation-wide competitions. During this period, KCC has garnered three Gold Medals at the Regional Competitions, including 2017, beating out other culinary schools in the West and Central Regions. In 2009, the KCC Team topped the charts at the ACF National Competition and brought the highly prized Gold Medal home to Hawaii-Nei.
Our HJCC members will be rooting for the KCC students to capture another National Gold Medal when this year’s Regional Gold Medal team goes to Florida in June to vie for the top award. If the dinner we experienced is any indication, our KCC Team should win the Gold without question!
Proceeds from our event go to help KCC pay for expenses involved with these national competitions. As a business organization, HJCC is only too happy to support future chefs and restaurant owners in reaching heights of achievement as exemplified by these rigorous competitions that test their creativity, fortitude, and highly honed skills. And upon their graduation, these exceptional students will enter the culinary industry and play a critical role in taking Hawaii’s cuisine to the next level of sophistication and excellence.
It’s nice to say that HJCC helped in their incredible journey.