culinary students and instructors
Estefie Viernes, Blossom Kaunoni, Vichadach Chotikawan, Kamaile Gusman, Annie Skilling, associate professor Paul Heerlein and instructor Kerstin Pfeiffer. Not pictured: Tanner Legler. (Photo credit: Kirk Shorte)

Six culinary arts students from Hawaiʻi Community College–Pālamanui received scholarships on Saturday, December 7, during the 31st Christmas with the Chefs holiday gala.

The scholarships were awarded by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Kona Kohala Chefs Association, which uses proceeds from the event to support local culinary arts students and members of the association who want to further their education.

The scholarship recipients this year are Estefie Viernes, Blossom Kaunoni, Vichadach Chotikawan, Kamaile Gusman, Annie Skilling and Tanner Legler.

“These scholarships aid students completing their two-year Associate of Applied Science culinary degree, while preparing them for gainful employment in the workforce,” said Jean Hull, a retired Hawaiʻi CC culinary arts associate professor and founder of Christmas with the Chefs.

Proceeds from the event support scholarships as well as the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs and Jean Hull Endowment fund. The fund, set up in 2015, finances guest speakers, travel to student competitions and purchases of the latest culinary equipment and supplies for students.

To date, the Christmas with the Chefs has awarded about $900,000 in total funds. Mark your calendar for next year’s 32nd benefit on December 5, 2020.

The Hawaiʻi Community College Culinary Arts program is offered at two locations: the Manono Campus in Hilo and the Pālamanui Campus in Kona.

—By Thatcher Moats