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Iron Man

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    Chef Masaharu Morimoto congratulated Patrick Eram, left, and JT Kaliga, winners in the senior division of a cooking contest Saturday at Kuhio Park Terrace.
    Azesha Keliikuli, 8, who competed with the Hui Kaulana team, stood in line for an autographed photo from Morimoto after the event.
    The Hotlava Chefs team -- Becky Sirota, left, April Labuguen and Denny Tiumalu -- won first place for the junior division for their Beef Enchilada Pot Pie. The competition was organized by Parents and Children Together.

Beef Enchilada Pot Pie and Sweet and Sour Spam made iron chefs out of youth from the Parents and Children Together Community Teen Program on Saturday at Makalapa Community Center, where a cooking competition was judged by real-life iron chef Masaharu Morimoto.

The young contenders, grouped in teams in two age divisions, faced off using the secret ingredient: canned meat.

The Microteers — Patrick Eram and JT Kaliga, both 13 and students at Kalakaua Middle School — took top honors in the senior division with the Spam dish. Hotlava Chefs — Becky Sirota, 9; Denny Tiumalu, 7; and April Labuguen, 10; of Fern Elementary — won first place in the junior division for the pot pie, which featured canned beef.

Runners-up were Hui Kaulana in the junior division, with a Chicken Artichoke Pizza, and Seba’s Best Fwends in the senior division for Cheesy Chicken Pot Bisquit Cups.

The four teams, picked in an earlier competition, prepared their dishes in an hour. The senior teams also were required to research the nutritional value of their recipes.

Morimoto is preparing for the opening of his new restaurant, Morimoto Waikiki. Co-judges included Kelsei Ikeda, chef at Nobu Waikiki.

The PACT afterschool program services youth who live in and around Honolulu public housing complexes.


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