13th Annual Hilo Culinary Classic – by Sandy Barr Rivera, Culinary Arts Instructor

The Culinary Students and Instructors of Hawaii Community

Aquatic Art

College’s Culinary Arts Program would like to invite all the foodies around Hilo to enjoy our own Fancy Food competition, the 13th Annual Hilo Culinary Classic, April 8th at the Manono Campus.  Food competitions have become widely popular through the programming of our TV food channels. Now, you can check one out in person, and meet our own Culinary American Idol contestants!  See what months of planning, weeks of practice, and the all-nighter of painstaking  preparation before the show can yield: the highest statement of skill and creativity demanded of our student chefs during their course of study.

As a community, you have enjoyed and supported the work of our student chefs through the school year as you have patronized Hawaii Community College’s Cafeteria and fine dining room, Bamboo Hale.  Now, as the year of cooking and skill building draws to a close, the Culinary Arts students  will stage our annual  competition in the HawCC Cafeteria on Friday, April 8th from 11:00am to 1:00 pm.

Program leader, Professor and Chef Allan Okuda, has set high standards for this show, starting with the first lectures to new culinary students, through his encouragement of the second year students in their last semester.  “The students are working very hard to showcase their talents in the culinary arts.  To become successful, these students must sacrifice their time and their efforts.” says Okuda.

“As instructors, we want to expose our students to as broad a range of culinary experience as possible. Food competitions demand not only correct technical knowledge, but perfect application of these techniques, and a great deal of practice “ he continues.  Students are using their Spring Break to work on their food show projects, which range from 3, 5 and 7 course meals, hors d’oeuvres displays, and buffet platters to delicate dessert presentations , artistic showpieces and celebration cakes.

This competition will be judged by a diverse team of well known Chefs according to American Culinary Federation competition rules.   Captain of the team and returning judge, Jim O’Keefe of the beloved O’Keefe and Sons Bakery will bring his years of knowledge and practice in the culinary realm to the table, and his many years as a competition judge will anchor the group.  Popular Hilo Chef Casey Halpern of Café Pesto brings his many years of culinary experience to the judging.  Our third “mystery” judge has yet to confirm.   The student displays will be judged on presentation, nutritional balance, thematic balance, workmanship, practicality, creativity and composition.  Awards will be presented during the public exposition.  Our Culinary Idol will be chosen for creating the “Best of Show”.

Just as TV competitions are a feast for the eyes, our student displays

Fruit Carvings

are to be viewed only.  A delicious Pupu Luncheon Buffet will be prepared by our first Year Students that will satisfy those appetites peaked by the displays.

Tickets for the show are $ 9.00, and are now available at the HawCC Cafeteria, Bamboo Hale, and from any Culinary student on campus.  Tickets will also be available at the door.  Cafeteria hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 through 12:30.  Bamboo Hale is open Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 to 12:30.   Please join us in this celebration of culinary artistry, skill and creativity.


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