Kona holiday fundraiser helps culinary students


POSTED: Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii mixes fundraising with holiday spirit at “;Christmas at Kona Village: Dining with the Chefs,”; slated for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Kona Village Resort.

The 21st annual event, presented by the American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association, benefits the college's culinary students with cuisine by more than 20 top Hawaii chefs. Dishes feature locally grown and raised products, including lobster bisque and tuna tartar by Chef Matthew Zubrod of Monette's at the Mauna Kea Resort, slow-braised brisket of veal by Chef Lou Mellaci of Roy's Waikoloa Grill and Bar, and a selection of gelatos, ice cream, chocolates and other desserts from Chef James Ebreo of the Hualalai Resort, Nancy Edney of Tropical Dreams and Cathy Smoot Barrett of Kailua Candy Co.

A silent auction will include a private dinner for eight prepared by Chef Morgan Starr of Mi's and a chocolate and champagne party for 25 at a Keauhou estate.

Tickets are $90, with tables of 10 for $1,000. Charge tickets by phone at 329-2522. Weekend and one-night accommodation packages start at $195 at the Kona Village Resort; call 325-5555 or (800) 367-5290 and mention “;ACF Christmas at Kona Village.”;

Here's a recipe for one of the dishes to be featured at the event, courtesy Paul Heerlein, a chef instructor at Hawaii Community College:



1/4 pound fresh luau leaf
1-1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 shallot, finely diced
3-1/2 ounce coconut milk (1/4 of a 14-ounce can)
5 pounds skinless butterfish, cut into 20 small pieces
1/2 pound sweet potato
10 ti leaves
Sea salt, to taste

Clean luau leaves and place in large pot. Boil and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Taste leaf to ensure cooking is complete. Continue cooking if your throat itches.

When done, strain and chop leaves. Reserve.

In heated saute pan, add oil and cook shallot over low heat for a few minutes. Add luau leaf and coconut milk. Cook together until thick and well combined. Add salt to taste. Reserve.

Wash sweet potatoes and place in pot. Cover with cold water and bring to boil, then simmer until cooked (when small knife inserts fairly easy into potato). Cool potatoes and cut into half moons 1/4-inch thick. Reserve.

Remove stems from ti leaves and cut in half lengthwise and across width.

Lay 1 leaf down and overlap with another crosswise. Place about 1 tablespoon of coconut luau leaf onto leaves, followed by 1 piece sweet potato and 1 piece butterfish. Fold ti leaves around package and tie with butcher's sting or leaf.

Cook in steamer for about 7 minutes. Yields 20 miniature servings.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (not including salt to taste): 190 calories, 11 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 20 g protein