Kapi‘olani CC culinary team wins silver medal in national competition


Kapiʻolani Community College
Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, (808) 228-8108
Chief Communications Officer, UH Communications
Posted: Aug 12, 2019

Kapio‘lani CC culinary Team Hawai‘i wearing silver medals.
Kapio‘lani CC culinary Team Hawai‘i wearing silver medals.
American Culinary Foundation awards gala in Orlando, Florida.
American Culinary Foundation awards gala in Orlando, Florida.

CORRECTION 7:45 p.m.:  Kapio‘olani CC was one of five silver medalists.  There were no gold medalists and one bronze medalist.  Medals were awarded according to total points.

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

WHAT:  Team Hawai‘i, Kapiʻolani Community College’s 2019 culinary competition team, won a silver medal after competing in Florida on Tuesday at the national collegiate culinary championship. 

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:  Winners were announced at a banquet Thursday night.

WHERE:  In Orlando, Florida, at the at the Cook. Craft. Create. American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention and Show—considered the national collegiate culinary championship.

Quote from Lead Chef Instructor Jason Peel:

"I'm so proud of our student team from Kapi‘olani Community College to get this far.  They really put their hearts out there on the plates and in the kitchen.  Although the national win didn’t go our way this time, they represented Hawai‘i with dignity and pride.  We are bringing home a silver medal and are going to keep fighting to bring home a national gold again.  Thank you Hawai’i for your support and Aloha."


  • Team Hawaiʻi was one of six teams (five regional, one military) that competed in the national championships.

  • 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 were 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 

Team Hawai‘i’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

VIDEO: (Of timed practice Team Hawai‘i members held on July 17 at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific to prepare for the competition.)

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.”