Lē’ahi Concept Kitchen is the visionary model and ultimate mission statement of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, the new both physical and scholastic arm of the Culinary Arts Program at Kapiolani Community College. The program is recognized for its placement in regional and national culinary competitions, its focus on promoting and using locally sourced ingredients in their contemporary cuisine, their fair market costs, their multi-industry alliances, and the alumni who have become outstanding and successful chefs.
“Learning and Earning” is the motto for this restaurant’s concept of having KCC’s culinary arts students extend their education through real work experience here in the dynamics of a fully operational food & beverage service environment.
Replacing the opulent space that was formerly the highly acclaimed Nobu, located in the Waikiki Parc Hotel, Lē’ahi Concept Kitchen is spearheaded by KCC alumni Chef Eddie Mafnas, while being overseen by Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts Operations Manager John Mizokawa.
On behalf of the Tasty Island, Yours Truly was invited to attend the official Lē’ahi Concept Kitchen VIP grand opening yesterday evening, Friday, May 26, 2017. Following is photo coverage, captions and commentary of the event. Enjoy. ;-)
Following are sample plates that were served at the grand opening event:
Ewa Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes with Ho Farms Tomato Salsa, Spiced Sour Cream and Avocado Puree
Strictly for this grand opening party, complimentary drinks were served, including Miller Lite, Heineken, Veramonte La Gloria Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Pleasures O.C.V. Chardonnay 2012 and C&B Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (<–my choice!). Note, Leahi currently does not serve alcohol beverages to regular guests. It’s BYOB.
Turtle Bay Resort Executive Chef James Aptakin (formerly Executive Chef @ Hilton Waikiki Beach) with John Richards, Kapiolani Community College Dean of Hospitality, Business and Legal Academic Programs
And? OMG, every dish — and I mean EVERY DISH — was absolutely FANTASTIC! The most notable standouts for me being the Mac Nut Brussel Sprouts and Ewa Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes. AWESOMENESS! In fact, so awesome, Turtle Bay Executive Chef James Aptakin was trying to convince the staff to give him the recipes! For reals! But they didn’t budge. lol
Everyone working here are very obviously truly passionate about what they do and the food they present. It really, really shows. Me now as a seasoned food blogger, I notice those things. Trust me. And it’s comforting to know the folks behind each and every dish here are highly educated by one of the most respected programs in the business over at Kapiolani Community College’s Culinary Arts program. Not just if you support higher education in this field, but also if you simply want an incredible dining experience, I, highly highly recommend you check out the new Le’ahi Concept Kitchen in Waikiki, supporting the KCC Culinary Arts. Excellent!
Lē’ahi Concept Kitchen
in the Waikiki Parc Hotel
2233 Helumoa Road (right across the Halekulani and Sheraton Waikiki, near Lewers Street)
Waikiki Parc Hotel
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Tel. (808) 762-2220
Lē’ahi Concept Kitchen – Yelp user reviews