Team Hawaii at work

Team Hawaiʻi, Kapiʻolani Community College’s 2019 culinary competition team, competed in Orlando, Florida Tuesday at the Cook. Craft. Create. American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention and Show—considered the national collegiate culinary championship.

Team Hawaiʻi is comprised of student chefs Greg Gamayo Jr. (captain), Ethan Momohara, Ritchie Wong, Kainoa Reloza, Xiaoling Cheng, lead chef instructor Jason Peel and chef instructor David Brown. It is one of six teams (five regional, one military) competing in the national championships.

“Food brings us all together. Cooking is a practice of immortality. Everything we made represents us, the school, the teachers that taught us and the family that pushed us,” Gamayo said. “When everything is over, I hope people will remember our food and culture and the flavors of Hawaiʻi.”

The team earned a spot after winning a gold medal and the 2019 Wild Card at ACF Western Regional Student Competition. Each team prepared a four-course menu, with 110 minutes to prep, cook, plate and serve all dishes to the judges within the time limit.

The teams are being judged on presentation, flavor, nutritional value, cooking technique, teamwork, sanitation and timing.

Winners will be announced on Thursday, August 8. The Kapiʻolani CC team won a national gold medal in 2009 and silver medals in 2013 and 2017.

Watch Team Hawaiʻi practice for the competition.

Support Team Hawaiʻi.

Four plates of food on a table
The four courses, ready for judging.

Team Hawaiʻi’s Menu

  • 1st course: Reborn
    Tarragon and Sole Roulade with Grape Scales, Mushroom Variations, Sole Brown Butter, Parsley Tuille and Cold Grape Moscato Espuma
  • 2nd course: Green Flash
    BBQ Smokey Pickled Beet and Avocado Salad with Pickled Carrot, Cucumber, Asian Pear, Tomato, Herb Oil and BBQ Vinaigrette
  • 3rd course: Rising Sun
    Chicken Crepinette with Fennel and Dark Meat Farce, Chicken Skin and Ricotta Ravioli, Pickled Fennel, Poached Apple Puree, Sweet and Sour Red Pepper Chicken Reduction
  • 4th course: Passion
    Passion Fruit Tart with Black Sesame Ganache, Yuzu Meringue, Chocolate Black Sesame Financier, Sesame Tuille, Shiso Raspberry Sorbet

—By Kelli Trifonovitch

Team Hawaii