Kapi‘olani CC culinary team preparing to compete for national gold

Kapiʻolani Community College
Dyan Kleckner, (808) 956-6099
Communications Specialist, UH Communications
Posted: Jul 24, 2019

Team Hawaiʻi
Team Hawaiʻi

LINK TO VIDEO AND SOUND (details below): https://bit.ly/32L3Ti3 

WHAT:  Team Hawai‘i, Kapiʻolani Community College’s 2019 culinary competition team, prepares to go for the gold at the Cook. Craft. Create. American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention and Show—considered the national collegiate culinary championship. Team Hawai‘i members held a timed practice session to prepare for the competition.

WHO: Team Hawaiʻi student chefs Greg Gamayo Jr. (captain), Ethan Momohara, Ritchie Wong, Kainoa Reloza, Xiaoling Cheng, lead chef instructor Jason Peel and chef instructor David Brown.

WHEN:  Wednesday, July 17, 2019

WHERE:  Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Room 200 (4500 Diamond Head Road)


  • Team Hawaiʻi is one of six teams (five regional, one military) competing in the national championships in Orlando, Florida, on August 6, 2019.

  • The team earned a spot after winning a gold medal and the 2019 Wild Card at the ACF Western Regional Student Competition.

  • Each team will be preparing a four-course menu, with 110 minutes to prep, cook, plate and serve all dishes to the judges within the time limit.  

  • The teams will be judged on presentation, flavor, nutritional value, cooking technique, teamwork, sanitation and timing.

  • The Kapi‘olani CC team won a national gold medal in 2009 and silver medals in 2013 and 2017.

  • To support Team Hawaiʻi visit: https://giving.uhfoundation.org/funds/12395104 


BROLL: (1:33)

24 shots: food preparation

4 shots: final dishes plated



Jason Peel - Kapiʻolani CC lead chef instructor (:16)

“We want to be recognized nationally, as a great destination for KCC, our culinary school, and also just as a food destination in Hawaiʻi in general so we want to make sure that the nation knows that we’re producing chefs.”          

Kainoa Reloza - Kapiʻolani CC Team Hawaiʻi student chef (:13)

“The school teaches you so many techniques and flavor pairings, it just really sets you up with the skills that are necessary for the competition, as well as you know setting up your own timing and just organization skills.”

Greg Gamayo Jr.- Kapiʻolani CC Team Hawaiʻi student chef (:12)

“It feels like you’re competing for people more than just yourself, you’re representing the school, you’re representing Team Hawaiʻi, and Hawaiʻi has really good food because it has food from different cultures coming together into one place.”