Maui Food and Dining

On The Menu at The Noble Chef for UHMC

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Danielle Sulliban calls herself “more of a baking person.”  She didn’t know that when she started in the culinary arts program at University of Hawai‘i Maui College (UHMC), but her experience there helped fine-tune her interests.

“You kind of figure it out in your first year of doing it if you’re really into savory or really into baking,” says Sulliban.

The advanced pastry student has one more semester in the culinary arts program.  She helped create guest goodie bags and sweets for the table settings at The Noble Chef on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.


The 22nd annual dining event attracts top-notch chefs from around the island to work with culinary students on prepping, cooking and presenting the food, while hospitality students get experience serving in the dining room.  Thirteen food establishments presented a selection of appetizers at the cocktail reception created, crafted by a chef-student team.

“They create a fun dish, the students get to prepare the dish with them leading up to the event, and at the event,” explains UHMC culinary arts program instructor Mark Mallone.

Here’s the list of chef participants this year:


Lee Anderson – Sugar Beach Events
Lyndon Honda – ROCKsalt at Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa
Travis Morrin – Three’s Bar & Grill and Fork & Salad
Tylun Pang – Kō Restaurant at The Kea Lani Resort
Geno Sarmiento – Son’z Steakhouse at The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
Alvin Savella and Kenneth Sniffen – The Banyan Tree Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Roger Stettler – Taverna Maui
Robert Barerra – Cane and Canoe, The Montage at Kapalua Bay
The Culinary Team – The Plantation House
Tom Lelli, Craig Omori, Joe Tocci, Noel Cleary, Peter Pak and Brant Holland – UHMC Culinary Arts Program

After the walk-around tasting reception, the doors opened to the lavishly-decorated dining room for a three-course, sit-down dinner prepared and served by the culinary students with the support of Executive Sous Chef Taylor Ponte of The Mill House with the first course; and Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst of Four Seasons Resort Maui with the entrée.  The evening wrapped up with a surprise dessert finale by Executive Pastry Chef of The Grand Wailea Resort, Fabrice Benezit.

This year’s theme of “Moulin Rouge” delighted the senses with delicacies, décor, flair, fashion and nostalgic les grand amusement traditional French entertainment. Utilizing local produce, ingredients and techniques paired with unique French-style cuisine, the student chefs worked alongside their professional mentors to create a memorable event while benefitting from interactive learning.


“We are the future people in the kitchen and hospitality, so to have hands-on experience, you can’t get that anywhere else,” says culinary fellowship student Faith Agtaguem.

Mallone says the culinary arts program offers a comprehensive range of classes to fine-tune skills in the front and back of the house, supporting our next generation of professional chefs.

“The basic arts of skills, cookery; in their second year they do an advanced cooking class where they actually work in a live restaurant dining room service,” says Mallone, referring to Leis Family Class Act Restaurant; see our video here. “Culinary math, all the fun essential things you have to do to be a chef or a culinarian, or fun gourmand, and also how to manage food and beverage, cost control; to learn while doing, to have mentors to have fun, and to know this is what the business is all about.”

The Noble Chef is UH Maui College Culinary Arts Program’s largest annual fundraiser, with proceeds directly supporting culinary education, student career advancement, and community service. Proceeds are also allocated toward student scholarships, student field experiences and internships, student culinary competitions, program enrichment and enhancement, and professional development for culinary faculty.


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