Categorized | Agriculture, Featured

Learning about sustainability from an expert

Chef James Babian shows students the lemon grass herb. Left is Maddy Bram, Ileana Hinchcliff. Right is Anthony Tucciarone, Alexia Hinchcliff, Olivia Loney. (Photo courtesy of Hualalai Academy)

Special to Hawaii 24/7

The Four Seasons Resort Executive Chef James Babian recently visited Hualalai Academy to teach students about local sustainability and the importance of fresh, local ingredients.

He spoke to students from second grade to fourth grade right in Hualalai Academy’s garden, surrounded by fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Babian brought dried herbs for students to smell and then he cut fresh herbs for them to compare. Students asked many questions of the chef including things like, “What are your favorite foods?” and “How long have you been cooking?”

Babian answered that he loved eating a huge variety of foods, but that he particularly enjoys fresh, local ingredients. Also, he has been cooking for many, many years and started off when he was a young man.

Babian has appeared on the TV Food Network, cooked at the James Beard House (with chef James Cassidy, who was then at Four Seasons Hualalai) and was American Culinary Federation Big Island chef of the year in 2006 and 2007. He is a past president of the Kona-Kohala Chefs de Cuisine and a graduate of the respected California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

Hualalai Academy is hosting a benefit, Gorgeous & Green, Feb. 19 at the Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai. It will feature a dinner created by Babian and will be made with all local ingredients from Hawaii.

Many of the fresh herbs for the dinner will come directly from Hualalai Academy’s own garden, grown by the students. Hualalai Academy has an extensive gardening program supported with a generous grant from The Kohala Center.

For more information on Hualalai Academy or its benefit Gorgeous & Green, call 326-9866 or visit the website at Tickets are $100 per person or there are reserved tables of 10 available.

Hualalai Academy is a K-12 college preparatory school that empowers students through an integrated curriculum and experiential learning to develop their academic, artistic, social and physical skills.

Alexia Hinchcliff, Olivia Loney, and Gemma Palleschi talking about the fresh scent they just inhaled. (Photo courtesy of Hualalai Academy)

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