Cravings: KCC team preps for national competition
A five-member team of students from Kapiolani Community College’s culinary program held a practice run last week as they prepare for the American Culinary Federation National Finals.
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Team Hawai‘i, a group of national contenders, isn’t focused on slam dunks or home runs. Instead, put them in an industrial kitchen and they’ll dazzle your taste buds with the likes of Filets de Sole Veronique and Pineapple Cremeux.
The five-member team comprises students in Kapiolani Community College’s culinary program, and with an American Culinary Federation Western Regional Award under their belts, they’re heading to Orlando, Fla., in August to compete in the ACF National Finals. Held annually at the ACF National Convention and Show, the competition is considered a major U.S. collegiate culinary championship.
Last week, the team held a practice run to create four dishes.
The session involved not just execution of the dishes, but plating and timing, requiring each student chef — Greg Gamayo Jr. (team captain), Ethan Momohara, Ritchie Wong, Kainoa Reloza and Xiaoling Cheng — to know the dishes inside-out and their specific duties for each one.
The group is, of course, aiming for the top prize, a gold medal, to follow up on a long string of awards in past years by previous teams. In 2009, Team Hawai‘i took the ACF national title, winning that gold medal; in 2013, it took silver. In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017, KCC competition teams won western regional awards.
The ACF is the largest organization of professional chefs in North America, with more than 150 chapters and 15,000 members. The federation represents the U.S. in major competitions globally.
To support the team’s efforts with a donation, visit the University of Hawaii Foundation’s web page: 808ne.ws/teamhawaii.