As a company, we value teaching others and giving back to our community. Through the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation (HCEF), we have been able to do both as part of their Chef Mentor Program. Last Spring, we were introduced to Cat Dichner and her students from the culinary program at Kalaheo High School.
At the end of the prior semester, Chef de Cuisine Miya Nishimura went out to the school to meet them and introduce them to our restaurants. This semester, Cat and her students came to visit us at Alan Wong’s Honolulu. Their goal was to learn and experience the brigade system and practice plating. After a quick lesson in the dining room, the students got into their teams to make their lunch.
With the guidance of Chef Miya, Chef de Cuisine James Aung, Sous Chef Takeshi Kuriyama, and Kitchen Manager Jason Hicks, the students prepared a four-course lunch for themselves and their teachers. They made a Frisee Salad with Anchovy and Caper Dressing, Roasted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes and Gravy, Pasta with Cream Sauce, Peas, and Carrots, and Puff Pastry with an Apple Cranberry Compote.
It was a pleasure to work more closely with each student, and it was a fun break from the norm for our team. We hope the students enjoyed their time with us. For those that are graduating this semester, we wish the best of luck. For the underclassmen, we look forward to seeing you next semester!