Local culinary students put their skills to the test Wednesday to create healthy bentos.
The contest was organized by Kapiolani Community College’s culinary arts program in partnership with 7-Eleven.
Competitors had to use two locally grown ingredients to create a dish that could not exceed 700 calories, and must be able to sit under a heat lamp for four hours.
“Sometimes people think healthy food tastes junk, so I think the dishes that the students created that had less than 10 grams of fat per serving, people will realize that healthy food actually tastes good,” said instructor Lauren Tamamoto.
The winning bento was a pastele stew with gandule rice prepared by student Primo Mateo, who takes home a $1,000 grand prize.
Student Mychelle Coon takes second place with a sweet and spicy vegetarian chili, while Ace Cabango comes in third with a teriyaki salmon bento with roasted kabocha and snap peas.
KCC tells us it’s possible the bentos will be available at 7-Eleven Hawaii locations for a limited time in 2019.