Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head striving to meet $5 million match

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jul 17, 2009

HONOLULU Plans for the new Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head have taken a step forward with the announcement of two new gifts. The Honda Foundation has made a $100,000 gift to support the Culinary Institute of the Pacific Capital Fund. The second significant new gift to support the Culinary Institute of the Pacific Capital Fund is a $100,000 pledge from the Kosasa Foundation.

"With our diverse cultures, fresh agricultural products and phenomenal natural landscape, Hawaiʻi has so much to share with the world," said Donna Vuchinich, president and CEO, University of Hawaiʻi Foundation. "With an advanced culinary training program, our state can become the destination of choice for world class culinary training," Vuchinich continued. "Investment in our culinary programs from donors like the Hondas and the Kosasas are key to our program's ability to fulfill its great potential."

In August 2008 a matching gift opportunity made possible through a $5 million gift from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was announced. To date, nearly $8 million in private funding has been raised through the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation gift and additional commitments. A preliminary estimate to build the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head is $32 million.

The world-class advanced culinary institute will be built on the former U.S. Army Fort Ruger Cannon Club site on the northern slope of the Diamond Head monument. The new facilities will occupy 40,000 square feet on 7.8 acres. The project will feature two laboratory buildings, a classroom building, an administrative and faculty office facility and a culinary amphitheater in addition to a world-class restaurant designed to serve the public as well as a training site for culinary students. The buildings will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for environmental sustainability.

"The advanced culinary institute will provide students with affordable, world-class culinary training from top chef instructors from industry and internationally-renown guest chefs," said John Morton, vice president of community colleges. "Not only will this advanced training give our students the sterling education they need to compete in this globally competitive industry, but the State of Hawaiʻi will benefit from qualified, educated workers for the restaurant and hospitality industries. Excellence in these industries will attract discerning visitors, and make Hawaiʻi a culinary destination of distinction."

# # #

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. Our mission is to unite our donors‘ passions with the University of Hawaiʻi's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawaiʻi and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. Please visit Honda Foundation was established by Paul S. Honda, a retired international trader. An internationalist, philanthropist and community leader, Mr. Honda moved to Hawaiʻi after running his business in New York City for more than 30 years in 1985. The Kosasa Foundation was established in 1994 in Hawaiʻi. The Kosasa Foundation provides support to a wide range of nonprofit organizations in Hawaiʻi, including, but not limited to, the arts, education, children, youth and social services. Established in 1944 by hotel entrepreneur, Conrad N. Hilton, the foundation remained relatively small until his death on January 3, 1979 when it was named the principal beneficiary of his estate. Offices are located in Los Angeles, California and Reno, Nevada. The Foundation, Fund and related entities have total assets of approximately $4.3 billion. Since inception, the Foundation and Fund have awarded nearly $800 million and distributed over $600 million for charitable projects throughout the world. Visit