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Queen’s Gala Highlights Student Chef Successes

Photo by Jack Kiyonaga

Molokai’s high school chefs had a chance to shine at last weekend’s Queen’s Gala.

A celebration and fundraiser for the Molokai High School Culinary Club, the Queen’s Gala showcased the high schoolers’ culinary prowess. Now in its second year, the Culinary Club is thriving, offering high school seniors education and job opportunities right out of high school.

“If the community sees the success at the end of the rainbow, then they’re more bound to support in the future,” explained club moderator and Molokai High School teacher Tiare Hubbard. “This is a student focused, student created and student driven event.”

The MHS chefs created and served a five-course meal, working alongside mentor chefs from UH Maui College, the Four Seasons Maui and Fairmont Kea Lani. Consisting of specialty dishes like Aiko Kanemistu’s venison stuffed mushrooms and Randyn Cabreros’ ube tart mont blanc, the students served almost 400 meals.

“It’s their year project,” explained Hubbard. “The kids are dedicated.”

That dedication has paid off. Partnering with culinary programs and local businesses, the Culinary Club now has connections to offer graduating seniors scholarships and jobs.

Photo by Jack Kiyonaga

For three club members — Shazen Bush, Marcus Hubbard and Randyn Cabreros – it was also an opportunity to accept their scholarships to UH Maui College’s Culinary Arts Program. Through the program, students will work with top chefs from the Fairmont Kea Lani and Four Seasons Maui. Additionally, all the students in the club who want to work in the food business can complete their certifications through the Culinary Club.

While this is the club’s biggest fundraiser, the students held smaller events throughout the year to support travel opportunities.

“This year’s seniors are the foundation of the club,” explained Hubbard. “Our seniors still stay committed because they’re loyal to what they started.”

Even with these seniors graduating, Hubbard isn’t worried about continuing the club’s success.

There is a “huge interest” in the club, according to Hubbard, with a competitive application process.

Aside from the food, the fundraiser featured photo booths and musical performances from Robert Cazimero and Kauna Torres Kahele, amongst others.


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