Hawai'i Culinary Competition Expo and Salon: A Culinary Student Showcase
An event sponsored by the Lyle L. Guslander Distinguished Visitors ProgramKapiʻolani Community College
HONOLULU–The late Lyle and Grace Guslander recognized that while Hawai'i was geographically isolated, the Islands offered incredible talent in the culinary and hospitality industries. In 1989, the Guslanders made a generous donation to Kapi'olani Community College to nurture a program that would attract world-renown culinary arts and hospitality leaders to Hawai‘i to allow students and faculty to hone their skills and become global leaders in the fast-paced and rapidly changing industry.
As part of the “Lyle L. Guslander Distinguished Visitors Program in Advanced Food Service and Hospitality Education,” the biennial “Hawai'i Culinary Competition Expo and Salon” was held on Friday, December 12, at Kapi'olani Community College. The event showcased student and professional talent through cold food and hot food competitions. Because this competition is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), certified chefs from the ACF were brought to Hawai'i to serve as judges. The three judges were: Stafford DeCambra (CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC), Albert Imming (CMPC, CCE, AAC), and Reimund Pitz (CEC, CCE, AAC, WCMC).
Chef Alan Tsuchiyama, coordinator of the event said, “I am grateful to work with and have the support of the dedicated faculty and staff of our culinary department which, without their help, this amazing show of culinary talent would not be possible.”
Viewers walking through the Cold Food Salon saw intricate and delicate designs, like Josielyn Agas’s ivy vines on her “Pastillage Lighthouse,” which won a Gold Medal. Professional Chef David Brown’s, “A Christmas Elf,” was a crowd pleaser with incredible detail and color enhancements. For the Hot Food Salon, Sharmaine Butac displayed her “Tilapia Mousseline Roulade” which won her a Gold Medal, as did Wing Yin Luk for his “Beurre Blanc Poached Fresh Water Tilapia”.
Participants came with their own pots, pans, mixers, cooking utensils – all but the kitchen sink. Competition was keen and many participants worked tirelessly through the night and stayed up over 24 hours to work on the last minute details for their entries. The dedication and passion of the students showed through their fine works of art. During the awards recognition, students cheered for each other and the energy of accomplishment, pride and triumph was palpable.
For the team competition, Kapi'olani Community College’s Team 1 won the Silver Medal, and Team 2 won the Gold Medal. “Team Hawai'i” will emerge from these two teams and will represent Hawai'i during the ACF Regional Competition in March 2015 at Las Vegas, Nevada.
The many sponsors of this event were HFM Food Service, Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Sheraton Waikīkī Hotel. On hand to congratulate the winners was Jason Wong, Vice President of HFM Food Service Sales, who said, “Thank you for allowing us to support you. I can tell you that I was totally blown away with the creativity and hard work that is visible in each entry.”
Chef Reimund Pitz, speaking for all the judges, also thanked Alan Wong for hosting a special dinner and service the night before the competition.