Maui Food and Dining

UHMC Culinary Students Cook Oysters and Halibut with Award Winning Chef

February 24, 2020, 12:23 PM HST
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Fresh Hama Hama oysters from Washington State and pan sautéed halibut were on the menu when multi-award-winning Seattle Chef/Restaurateur/Cookbook author Renee Erickson visited the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College Culinary Arts program on February 20.

More than two dozen students attended the demonstration and workshop which focused on seafood and sustainability, something at the heart of Chef Erickson’s brand and critical in the Hawaiian Islands.

Joining Chef Erickson was her husband and oyster shucker extraordinaire Dan Crookston. He taught the students proper technique while stressing the importance of remembering that the oysters are live animals and must be treated with respect.

Chef Erickson also demonstrated proper fish butchery using halibut, how to make compound butter, and her method of sautéeing and butter-basting the fish. UHMC Chef Instructors Craig Omori, Tom Lelli and Peter Pak helped facilitate.

The workshop was sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Culinary Education Foundation and organized by Executive Director Hayley Matson-Mathes.

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Seattle native Renee Erickson is a James Beard awarding-winning chef, author and co-owner of multiple properties in Seattle, Washington:  The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Barnacle, Bar Melusine, Bateau, Bistro Shirlee, Deep Dive, Willmott’s Ghost, Westward and several General Porpoise Doughnuts locations.

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In 2014 she published her first cookbook “A Boat, a Whale and a Walrus” which found itself on top reading lists while winning a 2015 PNBA book award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. She also won the James Beard Award for 2016 Best Chef Northwest for The Whale Wins; and was named to Bon Appetit Hot 10’s Best New Restaurants for The Walrus and the Carpenter.

UHMC culinary demo with Renee Erickson. Live Hama Hama oysters. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Dan Crookston (Chef Erickson’s husband) shows students proper shucking technique. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Student Meili Jahja tastes her first-ever raw oyster. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Student Sheila Marie Simon – a successful first shuck. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Chef Renee Erickson works with student Amberlin Lee. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Chef Renee Erickson on making a compound butter. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Chef Renee Erickson talks about fish butchery. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Chef Renee Erickson and Dan Crookston fry oysters. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Finished product. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Chef Renee Erickson demonstrates butter basting fish fillets. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Student Jennalyn Yadao is thrilled to know how to shuck fresh oysters. PC: UHMC Culinary Arts Program.

Group shot following the demo/workshop. UHMC Culinary Arts Program

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