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‘Christmas at Kona Village’ fundraiser for culinary arts (Dec. 5)


Culinary students at Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii are the beneficiaries of the annual fundraiser, Christmas at Kona Village, Dining with the Chefs. Presented by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Kona Kohala Chefs Association, the holiday gala is 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

The extravaganza marks its 21st year with tantalizing cuisine prepared by more than 20 top Hawaii chefs. Sample tried-and-true island recipes using fresh, local ingredients farmed here in Hawaii.

Enjoy savory dishes, elegant desserts, mouthwatering confections, 100 percent Kona coffee, handcrafted ales and fine wines. Under the stars, sway to island music by the Kehanlani Trio.

New this year, a live auction solely benefits local culinary scholarships and the food service program at HawCC in Kona. In addition, proceeds will be earmarked for culinary facilities at the proposed Palamanui Campus.

“The facilities at Palamanui will enable us to expand our present Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Science Degree program to accommodate more students,” said James Lightner, hospitality division chairman at HawCC. Lightner expects the construction of new energy efficient and high-tech teaching and baking kitchens, plus a garde manger preparation area, will increase the culinary student capacity “to over 60.”

Lightner, an experienced auctioneer, will oversee the bidding of an exciting lineup of exclusive private dinners, a buffet luncheon, pupu parties and dining certificates.

Bid on a Private Dinner for Eight expertly prepared by Chef Morgan Starr of Mi’s; he recently won the Kona Coffee Festival recipe contest. Other offerings include a Chocolate and Champagne party for 25 at a Keauhou estate and a bountiful buffet lunch for 40 at Hawaii Community College.

“When attending this event, the community is supporting our local hospitality industry and higher education,” said Chef William Kaluakini Trask, ACF Kona Kohala Chefs president.

He said HawCC students, including past event scholarship recipients, will assist participating chefs and confectioners during the evening.

Wowing diners will be more than 20 chefs and confectioners; each offers signature menu items that are sure to please the palate. Taste delicacies such as lobster bisque and tuna tartar by Chef Matthew Zubrod of Monette’s at the Mauna Kea Resort, slow braised brisket of veal by Chef Lou Mellaci of Roy’s Waikoloa Grill and Bar and Korean-style “taco” by Chef Darrel Bali of Kona Village Resort.

Visions of sugarplums will dance in your head after seeing the selection of hand-crafted gelatos, ice cream, chocolates and exquisite desserts by Chef James Ebreo of the Hualalai Resort, Nancy Edney of Tropical Dreams and Cathy Smoot Barrett of Kailua Candy Company.

Attendance to the culinary affair of the season is limited to 500 and ticket prices are $90 per person. In addition, reserved tables of 10 are available for $1,000.

Tickets can be charged by phone at 329-2522 and can be purchased at Kailua Candy Company, Clark Realty/Kona, Kona Wine Market and Kona Village Resort.

Weekend and one-night accommodation packages starting at $195 for single/double occupancy with breakfast, $225 with Sunday brunch and $325 oceanfront rooms with breakfast or brunch are available from Kona Village Resort.

Contact reservations for details at 325-5555 or 800-367-5290 and mention “ACF Christmas at Kona Village.”

ACF is the largest, professional, non-profit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors and growers.

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