Did you know that there are Waikiki cooking classes put on by the Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts Program?
When Nobu Waikiki closed, the Waikiki Parc Hotel lost its only restaurant. By the way, if you didn’t know, Nobu Honolulu has since opened at the Waiea luxury tower in the Howard Hughes Ward Villages development. But in its place a novel, new (for Honolulu) opened: Leahi Concept Kitchen.
Leahi Concept Kitchen
This new restaurant, the Leahi Concept Kitchen is run by the world renown Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Culinary Arts Program. Currently, the restaurant serves as a test kitchen for the upcoming restaurant at KCC’s new Culinary Institute of the Pacific. The restaurant also serves as a stepping stone for KCC graduates to get their first real-world experience running a restaurant.
And because the restaurant is affiliated with an institution of higher learning, it’s run a little differently too. For instance, Leahi Concept Kitchen is a gratuity-free zone. The restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license either, so it is strictly BYOB. However, in place of a gratuity, the restaurant does charge a 15% service fee that helps support the KCC Culinary Arts Program. And there is a corkage fee too, but it’s very reasonable; $10 for a bottle of wine and $1 per beer.
Cooking Classes in Waikiki
Just this past Monday, Leahi Concept Kitchen began a new program at the restaurant. Every Monday from 4 pm to 6 pm the restaurant will hold a cooking demonstration. Lead by the restaurant’s Chef, Eddie Mafnas, the classes will teach guests culinary techniques. At the moment, guests will learn how to make the restaurant’s Fresh Catch of the Day with Beurre Blanc Sauce. This includes lessons on how to cut, portion, and cook the fish, as well as how to make the sauce.
The price of the class is $50 per person, which also includes a buffet dinner of:
- Poke Won Ton Tacos
- Red Rice
- Fresh Catch of the Day with Beurre Blanc Sauce
- Baked Chicken
- Local Vegetables
- Waipoli Green Salad
- Leahi Bread Pudding
Free valet parking is also included, and of course, the service fee and standard BYOB policy still apply.
Waikiki Cooking Classes Final Thoughts
To me, this cooking demonstration and dinner sounds like a good deal. It’s not hard to spend $50 on dinner in Waikiki in general, but here you’ll not only fill your belly, but you’ll learn some skills you can use in your everyday life. And let’s not forget, graduates of the KCC Culinary Arts Program include chefs like Alan Wong and Sam Choy who are among some of Hawaii’s most influential chefs. Yes, the dish currently being featured isn’t Hawaiian food, but you will learn now to work with and cook local fish. And if this demonstration format isn’t enough for you, KCC does offer non-credited cooking classes too.
Have I done this class? Nope. But if I had the time to (my real job ends at 5 pm) and spare funds, I’d definitely give it a shot. To reserve your Leahi Concept Kitchen cooking demonstration and dinner, call 808.971.6302, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.