Maui Food and Dining

Contest Seeks Keiki Chefs for “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge”

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By Maui Now Staff

Celebrity chef and event judge Elizabeth Falkner. Courtesy image.

Celebrity chef and event judge Elizabeth Falkner. Courtesy image.

The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival has partnered with with Foodland and Kellogg’s to create the “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge for Keiki.”

Young culinary maestros ages eight to 17 are invited to submit their original recipes for “a delicious and creative lunchtime meal that’s healthy, simple to prepare, and features at least one fresh locally-sourced product (produce or protein) as a main ingredient.”

The creators of the top three recipes from each of the two age groups (eight to 12 and 13 to 17) will then prepare their dish live and in person at this year’s Hawaii Food and Wine Festival in September.


The dishes will be scored by celebrity chef judges:

  • Elizabeth Falkner – Formerly of Citizen Cake and Orson,  the multiple-award winning chef and James Beard Foundation Award nominee currently owns two restaurants in New York City.
  • William Chen – one of Hawaii’s favorite local chefs, “fresh Box” founder William Chen was born in Boston, Massachusetts and has over 16 years of restaurant and hotel experience.
  • Jose Garces – 2009 winner of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” and one of few chefs in the country to hold the coveted title of Iron Chef, Chef Garces’ eponymous Garces Group operates more than a dozen restaurants across the country.


Celebrity chef and contest judge Jose Garces. Courtesy image

Celebrity chef and contest judge Jose Garces. Courtesy image

Potential contestants are to develop an original recipe or a creative, healthy twist on an old recipe.


Recipes must:

  • Feature at least one fresh locally-grown ingredient (produce or protein)
  • Be Healthy – Veggies, fruits, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and/or lean proteins must make up at least half of the recipe
  • Be Delicious – Keep it fresh, simple, and yummy
  • Be Original – The contest seeks creative dishes, not ones from a published source; however, it can be a healthy take on an old recipe.
  • Be Affordable – No fancy ingredients needed
  • Meaningful – Tell the story of how you came to make this dish
  • Have a maximum of 10 ingredients
  • Have a maximum of 10 steps to prepare

Judges will review and score submissions on the following criteria:

  • 50% healthy nutritional value of the recipe
  • 25% taste
  • 15% creativity and originality
  • 5% affordability
  • 5% the story behind your recipe.

First place winners will be awarded with a “Keiki Night Out” party for 10 at either Roy’s Restaurant or Alan Wong’s with a special three-course menu for the winner and nine of his or her best friends or family members.


In addition, the winners will receive a two-night stay in an oceanfront room at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach or Outrigger Waikiki.

Entries can be made online, must be accompanied by a photo of the completed dish and must be received by August 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time.

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