Chef David Brown’s Christmas Centerpiece

Culinary teams from Hawaiʻi Community College placed first and second in the biennial Hawaiʻi Culinary Competition Expo and Salon. The event, sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), showcased culinary student and professional talents in three categories—cold food, hot food and pastries.

Hawaiʻi’s culinary team 1 included students, Kimberly Lim, Qihao “Sam” Tan, Sean Uyehara, Jeremy David and Christian Rae Wong. Culinary team 2 included students, Kyungsuk “Katie” Lee, Keane Aranita, Dongsun Kim, Richard Lee and Jarred Obata. The instructor for both teams was Chef Jason Peel.

Approximately 53 students and 7 professionals vied in this year’s competition. Competitors included participants from Kauaʻi, Leeward and Kapiʻolani Community Colleges; Waipahu High School and 2 branches of the military.

Five members will be selected from Kapiʻolani’s first and second place team to compete as Team Hawaiʻi and represent the state at the ACF Western Regional Culinary Salon Competition ​at Salon​ In Joliet, Illinois, February 3–5.

Competition highlights

Kapiʻolani CC alumna Woraporn Martinez won a gold medal for her pastillage, The Temple of King Rama IV and Tiffany Tan also won a gold for her pastillage, Spirit House. The show-stopper and gold winner was Kapiʻolani CC Chef David Brown for his Christmas Centerpiece of pastillage with gingerbread overlay.

The cold foods were eye-appealing and rich with color enhancements, like Megumi Murano’s beet-colored stuffed eggs. The hot food category were also crowd pleasers, like Christopher Corpuz from Kauaʻi CC with his macadamia nut crusted lamb with a red wine lamb reduction. Shaylyn Funasaki, from Leeeward CC, won gold with her kampachi nitsuke, chawan mushi, cha soba and miso namasu.

Shaylyn Funasaki, Gold Winner

During the awards ceremony, Ron Takahashi, Kapiʻolani CC culinary arts chair commented that the entries were exceptional and each entry showed the dedication and artistry of participants. “In my mind every entry is a winner,” said Takahashi

Judges were certified chefs from the American Culinary Federation—Stafford DeCambra, Douglas Fisher and Derek Spendlove. The sponsors included HFM Food Service, Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

—By Louise Yamamoto

Hawaiʻi culinary team 1
Hawaiʻi culinary team 2