Executive chef donates proceeds of cookbook to Maui Culinary Academy

Fairmont Kea Lani Chef Tylun Pang donates 100 percent of cookbook profits to MCA program

Maui College
Emily R. Sullivan, (808) 984-3549
Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Marketing
Chris Speere, (808) 984-3690
MCA Co-Program Coordinator , Culinary
Posted: Jun 16, 2011

Chef Tylun Pang presents Chris Speere of MCA with the first check.
Chef Tylun Pang presents Chris Speere of MCA with the first check.

The Maui Culinary Academy (MCA) at University of Hawai‘i Maui College and the Fairmont Kea Lani resort have shared a culinary partnership for over 15 years. This partnership includes the Noble Chef fundraiser, which raises money each year to support the culinary program. The resort also employs MCA graduates in the Kea Lani kitchen.

The latest result of this partnership is a cookbook written by Fairmont Kea Lani Executive Chef Tylun Pang. What Maui Likes to Eat is Pang’s fourth book in the Likes to Eat series, which features dishes Pang believes epitomize Maui’s culinary history.

Pang is donating 100 percent of the proceeds to the MCA program. He decided that if he was going to put the time into the cookbook, he wanted to make sure something more came of it than just writing a book. “With my connections to MCA, and the students, it made it a natural fit to donate the money. It was just the right thing to do,” said Pang.

Pang personally selected MCA graduates already working in his kitchen at the Kea Lani to help him with the project, and assigned them specific sections. “Putting together a cookbook is a big project, and I needed and wanted to get the other chefs in our kitchen involved,” said Pang.

The book originally was planned to feature favorite eateries on Maui. Pang said it was difficult to get those eateries to give up their recipes, so he changed the focus of the book and contacted other island chefs that had ties to MCA, asking them to participate.

MCA Co-Program Coordinator Chris Speere says he looks to Pang as a mentor and “an important resource to our program by keeping us in pace with the newest developments in our food and beverage industry." Speere cites the longstanding friendship with Pang that is centered on a mutual effort to create enhanced educational experiences for the culinary arts students. He notes that the Noble Chef event allows MCA students the opportunity to showcase their newly developed skills alongside top chefs from our islands and across the nation. The book is yet another gift to the program. “Chef Pang’s gesture is truly generous,” Speere says, “and remarkable, considering the personal time and effort he committed to bring the book to fruition.”

The funds raised from the book sales will be used in the Culinary Enrichment Fund that supports students in attending culinary competitions, workshops and seminars, or to purchase equipment to help maintain the excellence of the program. It also provides professional development funds for faculty.

“The book is not only about Maui food but it’s also about the places and the people. I wanted it to be more then just a recipe book, it's a people book celebrating sustainable Maui grown ingredients, island fishermen, and da kine local folks,” said Pang.

If you would like to purchase a copy of What Maui Likes to Eat, it can be purchased at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Costco, Borders, Longs Drugs, local bookstores, Amazon.com and MutualPublishing.com. It will also soon be available in the campus bookstore and the Pa’ina cafeteria at UH Maui College.