Hawaii: In Real Life ~ Calabash & Cooks

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From left: Delilah, Jacob, Pauline, me, Lars and Rodson at Moanalua High School.

The Mālama Learning Center is putting keiki in the kitchen for their annual Calabash & Cooks fundraiser! This Saturday, March 12, professional chefs from Roy’s at Ko Olina, Pono Plates, Firehouse, and La’ela’e will be joined by six public high school culinary teams — about 36 student chefs — to offer 10 food stations at the big event at Kapolei High School.

Kids from Campbell, Kapolei, Moanalua, Radford, Waiʻanae, and Waipahu high schools will all prepare at least one dish for the guests. Some of this year’s featured dishes include Campbell High’s kalua pork and spinach won tons with sweet onion salsa; Wai’anae High’s beef sliders with island greens on a sweet roll and taro chips’ Moanalua High’s paniolo beef stew with herb focaccia; Radford High’s poke fried rice; Waipahu High’s coconut panna cotta with tulle cookie and berry coulis; and Kapolei High’s pineapple-banana-lilikoi crumble with ice cream. Every dish will have at least four to six locally grown or sourced ingredients.


Moanalua High School instructor Lars Mitsuda (far right) talks to Delilah, Jacob and Rodson about making focaccia as Pauline looks on.

Student chefs will also compete in an ‘ahi bowl recipe contest sponsored by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Group. Their creations will be exhibited and reviewed by a panel of judges that evening.

This event aims to give guests a taste of the organization’s work to educate the public about sustainable, healthy living in Hawai’i. The students, meanwhile, incorporate what they’ve been learning at school and put it to practical use. Most, if not all, of the students also get a crash course in catering through this large-scale event.

We caught up with Pauline Sato from the Mālama Learning Center and some Moanalua High School seniors as they prep for the big event on Saturday. Hope to see you there … and restaurant owners, pay attention! These students are serious about their craft. You may want to pick them up when they’re done with culinary school in a few years.

We talked story some more with Pauline to learn more about the event, and more about the Mālama Learning Center! Visit HawaiiIRL.com to see the rest of our conversation!

Calabash & Cooks
March 12, 2016
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Kapolei High School
Tickets: Kids 10 years and under, $10; students with valid ID, $25; adults, $40 presale and $50 at the door; VIP, $75.