What’s Cooking on the Kona-Kohala Coast?

Stephen Rouelle, executive sous chef of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, was recently tapped Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Assn. (ACFKKCA). Cited for his dedication as scholarship committee chair and help with high school culinary activities, the South Kohala resident received his award at the organization’s annual President’s Ball January 26 at Daniel’s restaurant.

Stephen Rouelle, executive sous chef of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Bob Okawa was named Member of the Year for his recent service as chapter secretary and ongoing guidance on food safety. A retired Hawaii State Department of Health microbiologist, epidemiologicial specialist and registered sanitarian, the Kailua-Kona resident presented a food safety seminar on the chapter’s behalf at the ACF Western Regional Conference.

Bob Okawa

New 2012 Kona-Kohala Chefs officers are Devin Lowder, president; Ken Love, vice-president; Patti Kimball, secretary; and Dan Cody, Sr., treasurer. Committee chairs are Ken Love, agriculture; Jean Hull, C.C.E, A.A.C., and Dr. Carol Whitaker, Chef and the Child Community Programs; Patti Kimball, High School and Paul Heerlein and Betty Saiki, Jr. Chef/Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii.

Founded in 1929, the ACF is comprised of 24,000 culinarians, food service professionals, purveyors and culinary enthusiasts.

The West Hawaii organization is one of ACF’s 230 national chapters and is committed to culinary sustainability and fostering farmer-chef relationships. With a focus on offering scholarship and support for members and local student culinarians, the Kona Kohala Chefs also provides West Hawaii keiki with comprehensive nutrition awareness programs. These community activities including Cooking for Kids instruction to 1,200 second graders annually and Hit a Homerun for Nutrition breakfasts for youth.

The organization raises funds through two community events: the annual ‘Q’uisine of Hearts brunch in February and Christmas at the Fairmont-Dining with the Chefs in December.

Membership is open to chefs (which can include national ACF certification), dieticians, food and beverage professionals, purveyors, student culinarians and culinary enthusiasts.

“Culinary enthusiasts, people who appreciate the creation of food, make up at least 35 percent of our local chapter,” shares Chef Lowder. “We meet the first Wednesday of the month during lunch at changing restaurants.”

For information on joining, visit www.KonaKohalaChefs.org.

Regional Vice President, Hawaii and General Manager Christof Luedi is pleased to announce the appointment of Aron Weber to the position of Pastry Chef for The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.  Weber joins the luxury AAA Four Diamond award winning resort from The Fairmont Washington, D.C. where he held the position of Executive Pastry Chef.

Aron Weber

Weber began his career at The Fairmont Empress as a Pastry Journeyman.  In 2003, Aron was promoted to Chef de Partie at The Fairmont Southampton where he was instrumental in helping the restaurant earn the first AAA-Five Diamond status in the Caribbean region.  In 2006, Weber joined the pastry team at The Fairmont Washington, D.C. and was subsequently promoted to Executive Pastry Chef.

Chef Weber will debut his culinary creations at the 17th annual ‘Q’uisine of Hearts Valentine’s Brunch, a benefit for the Kona-Kohala Chapter of the American Culinary Federation to be held Sunday, February 12 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.  Chef Weber will be showcasing a white chocolate lilikoi dessert made up of layers of crunchy hazelnut chocolate, creamy lilikoi curd, decadent white chocolate mousse and topped with a light raspberry foam set within a Chambord filled raspberry cup.  This exquisite dessert will also be featured on the Valentine’s Day dinner menu at the AAA Four Diamond Award Winning Brown’s Beach House.  For reservations call 808-885-2000.

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