UHMC Culinary Students Cook Lunches for Vaccination Clinic
The usually bustling Pā‘ina Building – home to the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Culinary Arts Program – has been quiet for almost a year now. There is no food service in either the cafeteria or in The Leis Family Class Act Restaurant.
But the program is one of very few requiring some face-to-face instruction – with strict adherence to all CDC COVID-19 health and safety protocols – so there are students cooking a couple of days a week.
“We have full cohorts of ten students each in both our Intermediate and Batch Cookery classes,” said Program Coordinator Pastry Chef Teresa Shurilla. “There’s a lot of food…and no one to enjoy it,” she said.
Until now… Chef Instructors Noel Cleary and Peter Pak suggested the classes provide free lunches for some of the students who need to be on campus and to the volunteers at the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics being held at least twice a week in the college parking lot. Everyone involved loved the idea, according to program administrators.
“The service started last week and is working out perfectly,” according to organizers, for both for the cooks and the outdoor diners. Offerings include dishes like Pork Ragu and Eggplant Parmesan complete with side dishes and even some sweet treats prepared by the baking classes.
“It’s another example of the way we can successfully partner with the community to everyone’s benefit,” said UH Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana. “The food not only looks good but it’s delicious, too. The care with which the students pack the lunch boxes and serve their food shows how much pride they take in what they do and how happy they are that their food is being enjoyed.”
The program is hoping to expand the service to include faculty and staff soon.