Even a tsunami warning couldn’t dampen the spirits at this year’s Noble Chef held Saturday at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. Top chefs from five-star restaurants and resorts, Maui community members, and culinary aficionados from across the country gathered to experience delectable menu offerings and support the aspirations of students in UH Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy (MCA) program.
The lucky attendees who were able to get tickets to the sold-out event enjoyed a tantalizing array of appetizers prepared by MCA students and their chef mentors, and then voted for their favorite. “Best Use of Local Ingredients” was awarded to Chef Chris Kulis of Capische?, MCA students Myron Ancheta and Desiree Valencia for their Big Island Mushroom and Taleggio Tortellini, Roasted Baby Vegetables and White Truffle. Chef Lyndon Honda of 100 Wines, MCA students Yi Song and Summer Manzano won “Best Presentation” for their Harissa Lamb Sausage w/ a Pickled Watermelon Radish & a Pimento Aioli. And “Best of Theme” went to Chef Mark Ellman of Honu/Mala, MCA students Leah O’Brien and Lindsay Hunt for their Stuffed Kabocha Flower with Ricotta & Fennel Pollen & Basil Powder.
Other businesses both local and international supported the event by providing items for a silent auction. Attendees were able to bid on a luxury week in Whistler courtesy of The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort, a personalized winery tour of the exclusive Wente Vineyards in the Bay Area, and a two-night stay in the Kennedy Point Vineyards in New Zealand as well as dinners for two at local restaurants such as Pacific ‘O, Aloha Mixed Plate, and Star Noodle.
It was a special night in particular for Peamsook Park, the first MCA student awarded The Tylun Pang Aspiring Chef Scholarship developed in honor of the Fairmont Kea Lani’s executive chef, Tylun Pang, a member of MCA’s advisory board and a long-term supporter of the program. Park will complete an 8-week, $5,000 paid summer work experience which will include a close mentorship with hotel chefs (including Chef Tylun Pang), orientation to hotel departments, kitchen experience for Kō restaurant and the chance to develop a dish that will be included on Kō’s 2013 menu. Runner-up MCA student Kendra Carter received a special $1,000 scholarship award and will complete a one week internship in the Fairmont Kea Lani’s bake shop. In addition to a variety of types of support for Maui Culinary Academy over the years, the Fairmont Kea Lani also hosted the Noble Chef.
The Noble Chef is Maui Culinary Academy’s largest annual fundraiser, with proceeds directly supporting culinary education and student career advancement and community service. Proceeds are allocated toward student scholarships, student field experiences and internships, student culinary competitions, program enrichment and enhancement, equipment purchase and maintenance, and professional development for culinary faculty.
About Maui Culinary Academy: UH Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy was recently recognized by the American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation as one of only 71 “Exemplary” Culinary Programs across the nation. With more than 38,000sf of facilities, the MCA program provides daily dining options as well as customized full-service catering capabilities. MCA is planning to extend International education and food innovation opportunities along with current research and product development. More information about the program can be found at www.maui.hawaii.edu, or phone 808-984-3690.
(Photos courtesy of Peter Liu of Kaiscapes Media..)
Noble Chef 2012 Full Menu & Chef Biographies: http://noblechef.maui.hawaii.edu/?page_id=13
Noble Chef 2012 Auction Items: http://noblechef.maui.hawaii.edu/?page_id=15