In 2013, the Kona Cacao Association’s President, Farsheed Bonakdar worked with Maui Community College instructor and well known chef, Cheech Gannon to create a high level culinary competition for culinary students in the state of Hawaii. Professional chefs, Stanton Ho and David Brown of Kapiolani Community College were among the judges who over saw a plated dessert competition between University of Hawaii Maui College, Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii and Hawaii Community College-East Hawaii. The students had an invaluable experience in the competition and both judges sat with the students afterwards and gave feedback, ideas and their deep knowledge.
For 2014, we would like to be able to invite even more Hawaii state culinary programs to come and be part of the competition! The student competition will be held on Friday, May 2 in the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii grand ballroom from 11 am- 3 pm. Professional judges will once again be part of not only judging the students, but giving them the kind of advice and feedback that will enhance their careers in the culinary arts.
We are currently seeking sponsors to help off set the travel costs of the students who wish to participate with their culinary teams at the Festival. Sponsors of the students will be included in the overall event sponsorship benefits of marketing and promotion, and are invited to have a booth during the Big Island Chocolate Festival which drew over 600 attendees last year. Furthermore, culinary students will have exposure to the sponsors product and brand, which can create a valuable connection as the students enter the professional world.
If you are interested, please contact Farsheed Bonakdar directly at (808) 324-6100 or 808-937-4736.