Yesterday I was invited to join the Kona Kohala Chefs Association for their March Luncheon meeting at the West Hawaii Community College Culinary Center. The group, part of the American Culinary Federation is a group of industry leaders committed to culinary enrichments through professional development and education in the community of West Hawaii. I live in East Hawaii, but most people on his island know where the creative forces are on this island when it comes to food, and as much as I love Hilo, I have to admit the food scene is far more interesting on the West Coast. In particular the luxury resorts have hired some true culinary geniuses such as Matthew Zubrod of Monettes @ the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Even the smaller restaurants "on the other side" are interesting. I had the pleasure of sitting across the table from Morgan Starr from Mi's Italian Bistro in Kealakekua and nabbed the secret for his ultra creamy polenta.
The meal started off with a Roasted Anaheim Pepper stuffed with Monterey Jack Cheese and a house made tomatillo salsa
The culinary students from West Hawaii Community College put on quite a spread for us. The food was beautiful and delicious. I will be doing a specific post on their program soon, as well as the one at Hilo Community College.
A non-traditional Posole with Ham and Hominy was served with fresh Spoapillas
The salad course was a Tortilla Bowl filled with Fresh Local Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Guacamole, Black Beans, shreds of Cheddar topped with a dollop of Sour Cream
Our entrée was a tasty and well spiced Chicken Quarter slathered with a Dry Rub and grilled. The Corn on the Cob had a delicious Habanero-Ginger Butter and the Coleslaw was fresh and crispy as well as colorful.
The afternoon was capped off with this exquisite Kona Coffee Caramel Coconut Flan with Tulle Cookie, Fresh Strawberry and Raspberry Coulis. Of course that went nicely with a cup of great local Kona Coffee!
Chef William Trask, President of AFC Kona Kohala Chef's Association speaks to the crowd
The AFC Kona Kohala chapter does work within the community, providing culinary scholarships and supporting local agriculture and sustainability. I am looking forward to being a part of this interesting group of culinary professionals. A special thank you goes to my friend Ken Love (Tropical Fruit Ambassador) for inviting me to the group. Next month the meeting is being held at Doutor Coffee Plantation, which also has an exquisite flower and fruit garden. I am looking forward to April.
If you are planning on attending the Kona Brew Festival March 15-15th stop by the group's booth for a taste of their Lite Ale Sweet Chili Bean Chili with Braised Sausage.