Maui Food and Dining

UHMC Culinary Students Compete in King’s Hawaiian Product Development

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Baking students at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College Culinary Arts Program dreamt up original recipe cakes as part of a product development competition sponsored by King’s Hawaiian.

Students were charged with creating three-layer, refrigerated cakes highlighting the flavors and ingredients of Hawai‘i in two categories–Tropical and Chocolate.

Five judges (all UHMC Culinary Arts Baking alumni) unanimously selected Amber Kalish’s POG Cake and Dana Lynn Soriano’s Chocolate Kona Coffee Fruit Cake. Each winner was awarded $1,000 from King’s Hawaiian.

As part of the competition, the creations had to be “made of sweet, soft based cake sponges with light, sweet and creamy fillings.” The cakes and decorations also had to be durable enough to stay intact through delivery to grocery stores, display and customers transport home.

Leading the judge’s panel was UHMC Culinary Arts Alumnus Pastry Chef Jeremy Choo. He is now the Innovation Pastry Chef – Office of Hawaiian Foods for King’s Hawaiian. “We’ve done these kinds of competitions before at KCC (Kapi‘olani Community College on O‘ahu) and I was thrilled to be able to bring this one to Maui,” he said.


Jordan Frank, King’s Hawaiian Director of Product Development & Innovation also traveled to Maui for the competition from the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles.  He was duly impressed and explained that there is a chance that the winning concepts or a component or components of one of those concepts might find their way into a future King’s Hawaiian commercial product.


UHMC Culinary Arts Program Director and Pastry Chef Teresa Shurilla and Pastry Chef Instructor Hannah Stanchfield shepherded their students through the process. “All the participating students came up with such imaginative concepts and worked so hard to bring them to life on the cake plates,” said Shurilla. “As I always say, friendly competition is a great motivator.”

UHMC King’s Hawaiian Cake Competition. PC: UHMC.


Chocolate Kona Coffee Fruit Cake. PC: UHMC.

UHMC King’s Hawaiian Cake Competition. PC: UHMC.

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