Cooking: Past events

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wine in glasses

Wine Series: West Coast Regions

Did you know there are over 500 wineries in the Willamette Valley alone? Join us for an Oregon wine country tour as we taste 3 wines from this very popular U.S. wine region.

Participants must be 21 years of age and older. Must present ID at door.

Instructor: Daniel Swift & Alice Swift
Class meets: Saturday, May 11, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: Hale Akoakoa - Cafeteria

vegan cooking

Vegan with Friends: Orientation

Recent ‘Ekahi Ornish alumni and Vegan Chef Instructor Paul Onishi continues his series of hands-on cooking classes at the scenic Windward CC culinary facility.

Students will work with a variety of plant-based products, meat alternatives as well as learn new and exciting culinary techniques. Curious about how a “banana peel” can end up tasting like “pulled pork”? Come join us and find out. This introductory session is open to all levels of culinary experience and expertise.

Instructor: Paul Onishi
Class meets: Saturday, May 4, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Location: Hale Akoakoa 132
people cutting apple, pickled apples

Sharpen Your Knife Skills

The knife is the first and most used tool in the kitchen. Learn about different types of knives and their specific uses. Know when to hone and when to sharpen your knife and also how to properly care for and use it safely.

Chef John will demonstrate how to make the most useful cuts and how it affects flavor and visual appeal. Participants will practice cuts and put together a fruit platter for tasting.

Participants need to bring their own cutting board and knife.
As a safety precaution participants should wear covered shoes and long pants. Aprons, kitchen towel and other personal items can also be brought to class.

Instructor: John McGough
Class meets: Thursday, 6:00–8:00 pm
Location: Hale Akoakoa 132
man holding truffle, plate of truffles

Chocolate Dreams

Dive into the delicious world of chocolate! With so many varieties to choose from this decadent superfood does not disappoint. Learn the ABC's of dark, milk and white chocolate and techniques for coating in chocolate to enhance flavor to food in extraordinary ways.

Expert chocolatier Chef John will demonstrate his recipe for ganache and prepare a French style truffle for participants to taste.

Instructor: John McGough
Class meets: Thursday, 6:00–8:00 pm
Location: Hale Akoakoa 132

Introduction to New World Wines

Ever wonder what makes wine “New World” or “Old World”? Join us as we learn about the history of New World wines while we explore some unique styles that highlight the characteristics and qualities of New World wine regions. Small bites will be served with the wines.

  • Must be 21 years of age and older
  • Must present a current picture identification at the door.
Instructors: Daniel Swift & Alice Swift
Class meets: TBD, 6:00–7:30 pm
Location: Hale Kuhina 115
holiday beverage

The Holidays in a Glass

It’s almost the time of the year when friends and family gather for festive holiday parties. Get a jump start on your party planning by joining us as we explore several quick and easy holiday beverage recipes. Hot Cocoa, Eggnog, Apple Cider, Mulled Wine and Peppermint Irish Coffee.

  • Must be 21 years of age and older
  • Must present a current picture identification at the door.
Instructor: Daniel Swift
Class meets: Thursday, November 15, 6:00–7:30 pm
Location: Hale Kuhina 115
wiskey in glasses

Introduction to Whiskey

From smoky to sweet, spicy to smooth, whiskey comes in all shapes and sizes! Robert Casale will take you on a journey that’ll stretch from the windswept coasts of Scotland, to the Appalachian Trail of the Eastern United States. Together we will explore the flavor ranges and exciting styles of whiskey.

  • Must be 21 years of age and older
  • Must present a current picture identification at the door.
Instructor: Robert Casale
Class meets: Thursday, October 18, 6:00–7:30 pm
Location: Hale Kuhina 115
tuscany italy

Taste of Tuscany

Tuscany, a name synonymous with amazing food, wine, art and culture provides us with all the inspiration we need for a culinary adventure. Daniel and Alice Swift will take you on a journey through Tuscany as they prepare a 3-course meal paired with Italian wines.

  • Must be 21 years of age and older
  • Must present a current picture identification at the door.
Instructors: Daniel Swift & Alice Swift
Class meets: Saturday,October 27, 6:00–7:30 pm
Location: Hale Kuhina 115

Beer TALEs Local Style

Join Nic Wong and Crew at the Beer Lab Hawaii as they share Beer TALEs - Local Style. Taste, Appreciate, Learn about and Enjoy 3 special brew. So-o-o fresh, local and onolicious that we won't know what beers will be served until 2 weeks before the event. Enjoy a hoppy IPA, a porter and a sour paired with "outta da weeds" neutraceutical (food containing medicinal/health benefits) appetizers by Uala Leaf Cafe. Attendees will be able to stay after the event and purchase drinks.

  • Must be 21 years of age and older
  • Must present a current picture identification at the door.
Instructors: Nicolas Wong & crew
Class meets: Saturday, June 30, 11:30 am–1:00 pm
Location: Beer Lab Hawaii, 1010 University Ave., Honolulu, HI

Wine Tasting- Ho‘okipa 101

Have you ever wondered how to find that perfect bottle of wine? Let Chef Dan and Wine Educator Alice Swift give you a "jump-start" session so you will know what to serve at your Summer picnic or dinner out with friends. Red? or White? Learn to appreciate and evaluate what’s in your glass, see it, taste it, smell it and how to describe it. The chefs at Uala Leaf Cafe will prepare small bites to compliment your flight of wines.

  • Must be 21 years of age and older
  • Must present a current picture identification at the door.
Instructors: Daniel Swift & Alice Swift
Class meets: Thursday, June 7, 5:30–7:30 pm
Location: Hale Akoakoa Cafeteria

Weeds on My Plate - Mo’olelo Series

Journey through the WCC campus with Chef Beamer from another point of view. Learn about the weeds we use to create healthy Nutraceutical (food containing health-giving additives) dishes at Uala Leaf Cafe. Dr. Inge White will share the exciting developments of WCC's Agripharmatech program.

  • Honohono Olena Fried Rice
  • Braised Short Rib w/ Kinehi Gremolata
  • Sauteed Uala Leaves (sweet potato)
  • Hoio Salad (fern shoots)
  • Koolau Sunset Shortbread Cookie
  • Hibiscus Cranberry Ginger Ale

Instructor: Mahana Beamer
Class meets: Saturday, April 28, 9-11:30am
Location: Hale A‘o kitchen & lanai
Optional: Bioprocessing Medicinal Garden Complex tour

Food from the gods - Mo’olelo Series

Join WCC instructors Tuti Kanahele and Mahana Beamer for a delightful, ono tasting journey through the Kaneohe Ahupua‘a. Hear mo‘olelo/treasured stories of the gods, humans and creatures who roamed the land and taste story inspired dishes created with ingredients from the area.

  • Vegetarian Luau Stew
  • Mini Pork & Butterfish Laulau
  • Mixed Greens w/ local vegetables and Olena Balsamic Chili Pepper Dressing
  • Kulolo
  • Mamaki Tea w/ Botanical Simple Syrups
Instructors: Tuti Kanahele and Mahana Beamer
Class meets: Saturday, April 21, 2018,  9-11:30am
Location:  Hale A‘o kitchen & lanai
Optional: Nursing Mala ‘Ai Ho‘ola Garden tour (please wear covered shoes)
Japanese pupu

Mocktail Anyone?

Create healthy, non-alcoholic mocktails for Halloween, Thanksgiving, special events or just to try something a little different. Trish will demonstrate how to create a few faux cocktail recipes. Learn to develop your own special drink and control the quality and quantity of your ingredients (organic or not, low sugar, low salt, allergens, etc.). Pair your mocktail with some savory or sweet tapas, pupu or small bites. Join Chef Steve, as he demonstrates holiday recipes made with local produce and products.
Instructors: P. Brubaker, S. Maeshiro
Class meets: Wednesday, Nov 8,  5:30 pm–7:30 pm    
Location: Akoakoa Cafeteria

Taste of the Islands – Okinawa and Hawaii

vinegar drinks
salad noodles and ice cream
Join us for Superfood Saturday. Uala Leaf Cafe is a new, Blue Zones Approved® Restaurant located at Windward Community College in Kaneohe.  At the helm of Windward’s innovative foodservice training program is Chef Instructor Mahana Beamer. Her creations are inspired by the ethnic diversity of the islands and the lush environment of windward Oahu. The menu will feature a blended fusion of the superfoods of Okinawa and Hawaii. Enjoy a sampling of Chef Mahana’s unique Awamori and Genki Su inspired dishes and elixir, followed by a Q & A session.

Instructor: Mahana Beamer
Class meets: Saturday, Oct 8, 9:00 - 11:30 am
Location: Hale Akoakoa Cafeteria
Cost: TBD (includes lecture, demonstration, tasting plates and event recipes)
If you would like to be notified when a particular course will be offered again please fill out the contact form below.
John McGough received his Patisserie & Baking Certificate from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has over 20 years in the restaurant industry as a chef, pastry chef, baker’s assistant, pastry cook, cook and restaurant manager at notable restaurants in Las Vegas, Honolulu/Waikiki. John is the owner/pastry chef of Hau‘oli Pastry Company where he prepares customized dessert menus for a la carte dining, banquets and special functions.

man chef instructor
Daniel Swift has worked in the restaurant business since 1985 when he started washing dishes in high school. He is a graduate of Boise State University’s Culinary Arts Program and Johnson and Wales University’s Baking and Pastry Arts program in Providence, Rhode Island. He has worked as a chef for top hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Kahala Mandarin Oriental, The Westin Seattle and the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

He began teaching in 2002 and earned his Masters Degree from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in 2005. He has taught Culinary, Baking and Pastry and Hospitality courses for the last 16 years at 5 different colleges and universities, including the Collins College of Hospitality Management, Chaffey College, the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration in Las Vegas. Currently he is professor of food and beverage at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.  

Daniel earned his doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of Laverne in California in 2017. He is a Certified Master Baker through the Retail Bakers of America and hold certifications with the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Executive Chef, Certified Executive Pastry Chef, and Certified Culinary Administrator.
woman chef
Alice Swift has over 15 years of hospitality, food and beverage experience. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the Collins College of Hospitality Management program at  California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she developed her passion for wine education. She worked in various restaurants and obtained several sommelier certifications through the course of her studies (SWE Certified Wine Specialist, WSET Level 3, CMS Level 1). Concurrently, she also developed her culinary and baking skills as a co-owner of Pomona Baking Company, where she specialized in custom cakes.

In 2011 Alice began teaching for the University of Las Vegas, Nevada (UNLV) in beverage and hospitality courses, and worked as an instructional designer for UNLV while she obtained her Master Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from California State University, Fullerton.

Alice earned her Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration from the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at UNLV in 2016.

She currently works as a Senior Instructional Designer for Kamehameha Schools. Alice continues to stay in the hospitality industry teaching online hospitality courses for UNLV, while continuing her monthly WineTalk column as a beverage journalist for the Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional magazine.
Robert Casale has worked in the food and beverage industry for 14 years. He received his BA in Communicology and is currently pursuing a MA in Communicology from the  University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
He has developed his skills in fine-dining establishments as a server, sommelier, restaurant manager, beverage director and warehouse manager. From creating menus, managing wine portfolios, liquors and spirits to training staff and keeping operations running smoothly Robert has what it takes to deliver outstanding customer service and provide an excellent dining experience.
Robert is currently the food and beverage event coordinator and in-house sommelier/beverage director for the New Zealand consulate-general’s personal and professional events and activities. He is also a lecturer at Kapi’olani Community College and owns his own wine, cocktail, spirit and event planning consulting business.
Nicolas Wong
Nicolas Wong was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He attended Roosevelt High School and continued his education at The Colorado School of Mines where he studied Engineering and Project Management. Nicolas began his love for craft beer while living in Colorado.

After college, Nicolas started working at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard as an engineer and concurrently launched his first company focused on real estate development. Nicolas met his two future business partners, Derek Taguchi and Kevin Teruya at the Shipyard who introduced him to homebrewing. In 2016 the love of homebrewing evolved into a small brewery in Moilili, Honolulu called Beer Lab HI.
woman chef
Mahana Beamer, Hi’ilaniwai Foodservice
Innovations chef instructor, earned her BA in Public Administration with a concentration in Health Care Administration at UH-West Oahu and holds an AS in Culinary Arts and Patisserie from Kapi‘olani Community College. Chef Beamer is a Certified Dietary Manager, ServSafe® Instructor, HACCP Consultant and has worked alongside noted chefs locally, nationally and internationally. Extensive global travels have honed her palate and allows her to innovate and create as a skilled chef and mixologist.
female instructor
Tuti Kanahele is a native speaker of Hawaiian from Niʻihau, a Hawaiian language instructor and  cultural specialist at Windward Community College. She has done numerous video interviews with native speakers, is a Hawaiian translator and published author of books written in Hawaiian, teacher of Hawaiian language in public and private schools here in Hawaiʻi, Tahiti, Canada and the United States. Tuti was awarded the Native Hawaiian Education Association Educator of the Year award in March 2016.
man chef instructor
Stephen Maeshiro, is a Chef and Education Assistant for Uala Leaf Cafe at Windward Community College. Steve brings over 25 years of culinary skills and knowledge. His  journey in the culinary industry began soon after high school at a neighborhood McDonald’s. Since then he has worked and managed a ramen shop, pizza restaurant and fish market – preparing dried fish and laulau. Steve has honed his palette and kaiseki skills working alongside top named chefs at some of Honolulu’s notable Japanese restaurants in Waikiki specializing in preparation of washoku, traditional and regional foods of Japan.
woman instructor
Patricia "Trish" Brubaker,  started making faux cocktails over a year ago as part of her workplace's weekly team-building activity. It was a creative challenge to come up with something fresh, tasty and (hopefully) healthy each week.  She  views each mocktail as an experiment in flavor, fun and fantasy.