Category Archives: culinary school

Cooking Under the Stars


This past Saturday, at the King’s Shops of Waikoloa, the Culinary Arts Program of Hawaii Community College (both Hilo and West Hawaii Campuses) offered their annual “Cooking Under the Stars” to the public for spectacular tasting.

A bit of drama was added at the end of the evening as the full moon burst through the clouds to provide a glorious view to our Hawaiian locals and visitors.


Watch the slideshow below to see some of the local chefs, instructors, and students as they cook, taste, and stroll among the booths.

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Pictures were taken by Becky Stalder and Chef Mark Johnson.
A hui hou!

Palamanui Update as of December 2014

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In November of fall semester 2014, I visited our new Palamanui campus. You can look at the slideshow from that trip and read a bit of the school’s history here.

Then in December, with all classes and exams complete, our faculty and staff gathered for our annual “end of fall semester” celebration with a potluck. This year, we gathered under a large tent at a location just above the new campus so we could look at it as we ate.

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Through our gathering, we felt like we were staking our claim for the new school. We have been told we can start teaching there in fall semester 2015. In our minds, we visualized walking into the new classrooms to join with eager students in their educational process.

The pictures from the November post were of the inside of buildings primarily and I wasn’t able to post pictures of the overall campus. I took more pictures from our vantage point during the December potluck, and thought those of you who have an interest in Palamanui would like to see.

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Most of the work is being done on the inside right now, so the outside doesn’t look finished yet. These pictures show several buildings and the total layout of the new campus.

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I’m sure our community will get a chance to visit this new campus in the near future. We look forward to bringing higher education to the North Kona side of the Big Island of Hawai`i.

A hui hou!

A College Feast


Even though Thanksgiving passed a couple weeks ago, and we are looking toward Christmas now, I could hardly wait to post this. I am part of the Social Science faculty at the University Center at West Hawaii in Kealakekua. Our Student Activity Council provides a major feast for students the day before Thanksgiving. All the cooking is done by our superb culinary students. The festive feeling and memory of gourmet food gets us through exam week and into the holidays.

This is a top notch culinary school. I love their insignia!


Jim and Marvin sweep up leaves so people can eat under the trees. Jim Lightner heads up the Hospitality section of our school. Marvin Medeiros is the main “go to” man when we need something done.


Chef Betty Saiki is the instructor for the first year culinary students, the ones responsible for the Thanksgiving feast. She’s busy in the kitchen, keeping everything on schedule.


They gave me special permission to enter the kitchen as they were finishing up the preparations. Lots of bustling activity going on! Some of the students were busy cutting up the ham.


Others concentrated on cutting up the fish.


Still other students were carefully cutting up melons.


Pots were bubbling away on the stove.


“Hamming” it up and helping out was Chef Paul Heerlein, instructor for the second year students.


Everything seemed to be going according to their working list of who was responsible for which dish or process, just like the cooking shows on TV.


The beautiful wooden serving containers were ready and waiting for the food to be brought out.


There were lots of my starving students anxiously waiting for the food to come out of the kitchen.


The hungry office staff (Marvin, Joeanne, Keahi) waited patiently . . .


. . . and the media men (Chuck and Stan) spent their waiting time wiring us up for good sounds.


Some of our Hawaii Community College dignitaries joined us from Hilo.

Guy Kimura, Rockne Freitas (Chancellor), Noreen Yamane, Beth Sanders (in back)
Guy Kimura, Rockne Freitas (Chancellor), Noreen Yamane, Beth Sanders (in back)


Just reading the signs can make you hungry!


Some of the foods were covered up so I couldn’t take a picture, but here is a sample of what graced our table.


After a pule (prayer), everyone finally lined up to eat.


The hard work completed, all tummies full, now it’s time to relax a bit and pose for pictures.


This was one tired cooky! I guess he just couldn’t wait any longer for his nap.


This happy and hungry student was in one of my classes last spring.


I’d have to say that everyone seemed to get their fill – and more!


I can hardly wait for next year’s Thanksgiving feast, when a new batch of chefs will get the privilege of showing off their talents again.

For a slideshow of all the photos I took that day, you can either watch the one above, or for a larger one, click here.

A hui hou!