Culinary students at Leeward Community College will participate in Restaurant Week at a later date. Photos by Randy T. Fujimori
Dine out for a cause Nov. 12-18
By Simplicio Paragas
Conrad Nonaka urges people to eat out during Restaurant Week. The reason: It will help further the vision of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head (formerly the Canon Club). Talks of an advanced four-year culinary program have been ongoing for more than 20 years, but it was only a decade ago that serious planning emerged, according to Nonaka.
“Once the shovel hits the dirt, we should get the necessary support,” says Nonaka, director of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, which is the umbrella term that covers all UH campus culinary programs. “We should break ground for Phase 1 — which will include four culinary and baking labs — in early 2013.”
Nationwide, Restaurant Week is an initiative necessitated by a slumping economy with a goal of driving business to local area dining establishments. While this also holds true for Hawaii, Nonaka says they addded a local twist to the event by bringing awareness to the burgeoning Diamond Head advanced culinary program.
“We adopted Restaurant Week from other major cities, like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans and Seattle,” Nonaka says. “After all administrative and marketing costs associated with putting on Restaurant Week, all proceeds will then go toward CIP.”
More than 100 different restaurants — from fine dining to fast-food — will participate in this year’s event; each will provide special menu items, promotions and discounts during the weeklong foodiepalooza. Momentum and support has built up for Restaurant Week, not only among industry insiders but also among the general public.
“Restaurant Week Hawaii is an industry-driven event that involves all segments — from purveyors and farmers to distributors and hotels,” Nonaka continues. “It bridges education with industry partners, while also bringing in the community.”
When: November 12-18
What: A fundraiser for the Culinary Institute of the Pacific
Note: All participating restaurants will offer special value lunches/dinners during the week. Visit the event’s website to see a list of participating restaurants and their respective menus.