HONOLULU (KHON2) – Here at Leeward Community College, they are truly known for their program of Culinary Arts, an award-winning program for many years bringing students from their dream to their reality in the food industry. 

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So, to find out more about this program, we are here with Professor and Chef Don Maruyama. 

Tell us a little bit about this program. 

What do students experience and learn as they go through this?

“So, we are a two-year program.  The program offers an associate in science degree,” says Maruyama. 

“Our curriculum is accredited by the ACF, American Culinary Federation.  We have wonderful facilities.  They are clean, they are safe, very well equipped, wonderful faculty with over 200 years of food and beverage experience, but really the strength of the program is our students.  We have a very diverse student body.  We all learn from each other and hopefully it’s a lot of fun for our students.”

So, getting a student’s perspective of this program, we are here with Rachel Daguio who is a first semester student. 

Rachel, what does it mean for you to be a part of this program?

“I was really super nervous coming here but once I got the hang of it, I started to have fun improving my skills,” says Daguio.

What are you making today?

“We are making tonkatsu.  We made this earlier in the week, but we used pork loin and now we are using pork tenderloin,” says Daguio.

Is this something that you learned at home or something that you took from this class?

“Something I have learned in this class.  It’s similar to chicken katsu so I kind of got the motion of it and experience,” says Daguio.

We also have Vance Malczon here, also a first semester student. 

Vance, tell us a little bit about your dream and what are you hoping from this class that will lead you to be able to achieve that?

“Well, hopefully in the future, I want to become a head chef or an executive chef in a nice restaurant and I want to be able to, at this school, further my education and become someone that can do multiple things in the kitchen and able to be replaced easily,” says Malczon.

Tell us Chef, tell us a little of the restaurant here.

“So, we have a student operated restaurant, it is called The Pearl,” says Maruyama.

“It is an award-winning restaurant.  Dining room students operate the dining room, we have a contemporary cuisines class that prepares the food.  We are open to the public on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.”

Again, this is here at Leeward Community College and their award-winning Culinary Arts program and a public restaurant for you to try and I have to say, you have to try this out for yourself. 

If you are interested in the Culinary Arts Program, click here.

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If you want to find out more about The Pearl, click here.