Culinary degree would boost isles' reputation
UH plans to build a restaurant and offer a bachelor's degree in culinary management.
RESTAURANTS come and go quickly in Hawaii. That won't be the case with one associated with the University of Hawaii, but the long wait would be well worth it if it nourishes a valuable culinary program
from which many local students and others could prosper.
Plans for the training restaurant at the former Cannon Club site on the slopes of Diamond Head have been in the works for more than six years, and likely won't be complete until 2011. Nonetheless, it will expand opportunities and increase the strong reputation of the university system's various culinary education programs.
Gathering the needed funds will be an obstacle. The university has about $3.6 million in state and federal funds for initial design and permits for the restaurant, classrooms, cooking labs, lecture hall and gardens, but the total cost is estimated at between $15 million and $25 million.
The goal is to build the facility as much as possible with private funds. However, only about $1.9 million in donations have been collected so far, the Star-Bulletin's Craig Gima reports.
Along with the restaurant, the Culinary Institute of the Pacific programs at Kapiolani Community College and West Oahu/Leeward will offer a bachelor's degree in management that few public universities extend.
Such a degree can provide isle graduates with the administrative and leadership skills to gain better-paying jobs and positions in the food service industry. The niche offering also positions Hawaii to pull in students from Asia and the U.S. continent. Graduates of the culinary programs have already drawn national and international attention; among them are some of the state's luminary chefs, such as Alan Wong and Russell Siu.
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