The Pearl Is A Critic’s Choice Culinary Favorite
group of culinary students

Chef Instructor Ian Risely with Leeward culinary students at the 2011 ʻIlima Awards

Leeward Community College’s fine dining restaurant, The Pearl, was recently recognized as a critics’ choice favorite for the Honolulu Star Advertiser’s annual ʻIlima Awards.

It is the first time that a restaurant run by a University of Hawaiʻi community college culinary program has been recognized in the annual guide to Oʻahu’s top restaurants.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser columnist Betty Shimabukuro selected The Pearl as one of her top picks.

“You will eat well and spend little,” she writes. ”The students in the kitchen are trying out advanced skills on a menu fine-tuned by chef-instructor Ian Risely, so we’re talking true fine dining. The slow-cooked roulade of chicken breast featured in early September was world-class, fork-tender and delicately flavored.”

Culinary students preparing dishes in The Pearl restaurant kitchen

Leeward students prepare award-winning dishes at The Pearl

Located on the Leeward Community College campus, The Pearl is a learning lab for the college’s culinary arts program.

It allows students in Dining Room Operations and Contemporary Cuisine courses to practice hospitality and service skills and create and prepare contemporary cuisine typically featured in today’s restaurants.

“The restaurant is popular with the community and provides real-world experiences that allow students to prepare for jobs in upscale food operations,” said Culinary Arts Program Coordinator Tommylynn Benavente.

About the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ʻIlima Awards

To compile the annual guide, a team of five food and dining experts from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser selected more than 200 establishments to be featured in the 2011–12 ʻIlima Guide to Oʻahu’s Top Restaurants.

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