Culinary Arts students cater 2014 Earth & Ocean Festival

Hawai‘i Community College was well-represented at the 2014 Earth & Ocean Festival in Kona on Saturday, April 12. Culinary Arts students from West Hawai‘i provided food, and Brie Day, Kelly Carter-Lynn, Paul Day and Carrie Kuwada-Phipps presented information at the event related to marine science as well as general information about HawCC and UH Center, West Hawai‘i. 

Culinary Arts students learned how to provide off-premise catering for a very large group as they served the following menu, and two students provided written reflections of their experience catering the event, which are include below. 


  • Kulana Beef and Bean Chili on Hapa Rice, with Tortilla Chips Sour Cream and Cilantro
  • Vegetarian and Bean Chili on Hapa Rice, with Tortilla Chips Sour Cream and Cilantro
  • Grilled Chicken with a Kona Coffee BBQ Sauce, Pineapple Cole Slaw and Hapa Rice
  • Kealakekua Organic Greens with Feta, Kona Oranges, Macadamia Nuts, Citrus Dressing


By Lora Olson

April 12 we had the opportunity to be a part of the Earth and Ocean Festival held at Makeao Pavilion at Old Kona Airport Park. Our second year culinary team put together the food that would be sold at the concession stand; with this opportunity we were able to build our off site catering skills. We as a class were able to pre-plan the menu, do the prep work for the menu, cook the menu items, pack items needed to perform off site catering, and see if we were able to make a profit doing a catering event.

Thursday was teaming picking and prep day. I was a team member with Kaylee Duke doing the salad. Kaylee and I prepped the salad, myself doing the orange segments. I did not work backwards doing this orange prep. I did the orange prep after Chef Paul left before Chef Fernand class with the oranges Chef Paul provided. I was not clear on how many orange segments were going to be on each salad portion. You need to know down to the ounce each salad was going to get. So I did not count the orange segments, and was not able to attend class the next today. So this was a big learning lesson in communication for me. Kaylee and I should have done a sample plate Thursday, then measured and portioned out our ingredients, just as we do in our lunches. Lesson learned. If this job was my own I would have not profited, I would have been all over the page.

The day of the event was really fun. It was a bit slow at first. I suggested to Chef Paul we make sample size portions of our great tasting chili. This went over really big with the community attending the event. Kaylee and I went out to all the booths and person attending promoting West Hawaii Culinary. We explained that we were students and our food is made from scratch. The people loved this as well as an opportunity to come in a support our culinary program.

I worked making salads most of the day. Then after some of the other classmate had to leave early I jumped over to making chili plates and chicken plates. All went smooth.

We had little food left, and clean up went fast. I came back to join in the after clean up, this also having extra hands went fast for all.

This was I feel one of the most enjoyable events I have participated in over the last two years.


Earth Day 2014

By Gary Cyr

This year’s earth day event was held on April 12th, in Kona, at the old airport pavilion. We, as a class, prepared to cater the event and sell meals to the public. Preparing for the event started two days prior starting on Thursday. All the ingredients that were planned for the menu were gathered and we began to assemble the meal. I was working with Meagan and Derrick to prepare the barbeque chicken, hapa rice, and the coleslaw. It was decided to mark and precook the chicken as to speed up the production on the event day. Other students in the class were working on the salads, tortilla chips, and two types of chili (vegetarian and meat).   On Friday, the day before, the van was packed with all the equipment needed and the coolers were filled with the food and place in the walk-in for preparation of the event.

On the day of the event, I volunteered to arrive at the college and transport the coolers to the site. Timing is always important, so I showed up a little early. The rest of the equipment and the food were loaded and we proceeded to Kona. At the event everything was unloaded and we began to setup for service. Everyone was assigned a station, or serving area, and we began to assemble and reheat the food to the correct temp. We had about an hour and a half before service (10:00). I went to find the charcoal and was told by Chef Paul to find the event coordinator to see where it was located. When I talked to the coordinator she informed me we were supposed to bring the charcoal. I guess there was a miss communication on who was going to supply it.   They sent someone for charcoal but it was only 30 minutes till service and it wouldn’t have been enough time to reheat to the right temperature. It’s a good thing we had pre-cooked the chicken so the back-up plan was to reheat the meal using the propane and a roundel. Display plates were placed on the counter and service started on time. In my opinion, everything was going smoothly by then and as anticipated.   The crowd was a little smaller then expected, due to other events happening on the island, so small samples were made and passed out and this seemed not only to advertise but boost sales. As the food was being prepared, we were keeping up with cleaning the pans and equipment then packing them for an expedient departure. Around 1:00 we ran out of vegetarian chill and then the event coordinator came and informed us the event was going to go till 3:00 not the 2:00 time that we previously had thought, a little more miss communication. Around 2:00 we ran out of the barbeque chicken, which is what we had planned for originally. After 2 the class started filtering out, leaving the chef, myself, and two other students.   We continued on till 3:00 then packed up the vehicles with the remaining equipment, and food, and proceeded back to the college.

It had been an eventful day. It was a new experience to be able to cater an event like this. We were given very good comments by the customers about the appearance, taste, and quality of the food and we did fairly well on the sales. Precise and clear communication would be helpful in the future to avoid confusion between all parties. When a problem does arise it is important to adapt and over-come. Through prior proper planning and quick decisions, we were able to complete our objective and leave our customers satisfied.


  1. Kulana Beef and Bean Chili on Hapa Rice, with Tortilla Chips Sour Cream and Cilantro
  2. Vegetarian and Bean Chili on Hapa Rice, with Tortilla Chips Sour Cream and Cilantro
  3. Grilled Chicken with a Kona Coffee BBQ Sauce, Pineapple Cole Slaw and Hapa Rice
  4. Kealakekua Organic Greens with Feta, Kona Oranges, Macadamia Nuts, Citrus Dressing
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