Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance Tuition Scholarship Deadline

The Culinary Institute of the Pacific (CIP) at Kapi‘olani Community College unveiled details of their groundbreaking collaboration with the renowned Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the world’s premier culinary college, in a formal press conference co-hosted by the Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance that welcomed CIA leadership to the Diamond Head campus. The two institutions, who share a commitment to advancing culinary education in the Pacific, announced the launch of their joint workforce and professional development program earlier this year.

"This initiative marks a pivotal moment in creating a world-class culinary institute in Hawai‘i," said Chef Roy Yamaguchi, Director of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific. "We are excited to collaborate with CIA to create a workforce development program that is uniquely rooted in our cuisine and culture, ensuring the talent pipeline in the islands remains robust for years to come."

The program—designed to elevate the skills of both professional chefs and those aspiring to join the foodservice and hospitality workforce—will offer 5-day culinary intensives that highlight the use of Hawai‘i-sourced ingredients in global cuisines, plant-forward cooking, and contemporary culinary techniques beginning with ʻĀina-based Mediterranean Cooking and Pacific Rim Plant Forward Cooking this fall. Taught by distinguished CIA instructors, participants will receive a certificate of completion from both CIA and CIP, complete with continuing education hours and a digital badge. The introduction of these specialized classes for industry professionals is just the beginning for expanding CIP’s educational repertoire, which plans to offer a total of 24 cohorts of the CIA-backed curriculum over the course of three years. 

“Our collaboration with CIP represents a significant investment in Hawai‘i's culinary future and demonstrates our commitment to building upon the college’s legacy, reputation, and alumni network here in the Pacific,” shared Michiel Bakker, CIA president-elect. “We bring a track record of culinary excellence around the world, having established successful culinary institutions in regions that have seen transformative economic growth and community development, using education as a magnet for tourism and hospitality.”

Governor Josh Green and state leaders have acknowledged the multi-year collaboration as crucial to uplifting the culinary workforce in Hawai‘i—instrumental for the future of the state’s tourism and hospitality industry. Producing highly skilled chefs and hospitality professionals trained to meet the needs of the tourism industry  will not only enhance the overall visitor experience, but ultimately drive economic growth and development for the state. Last year, CIP secured $2 million in funding through DBEDT and the Hawai‘i State Legislature for the collaboration with CIA.

This collaboration not only marks the beginning of a new era for culinary education in Hawai‘i, but offers a timely solution for employers navigating a challenging staffing market, enabling them to foster a dedicated, skilled workforce. “By investing in their employees’ future, restaurant and hospitality employers can capitalize on this opportunity to retain and train key staff, incentivize employee retention, motivate talent, and provide opportunities for growth and promotion,” shared Yamaguchi.

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority also announced that they will support the inaugural program offerings by providing full tuition scholarships for 32 industry professionals to participate in the first two cohorts this September. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, demonstrate at least three (3) years of culinary experience in the kitchen of a hotel, resort or restaurant, and be a Hawai‘i State Resident. Applications are open now through August 1 at culinaryinstitute.hawaii.edu for ʻĀina-based Mediterranean Cooking(September 16-20, 2024) or Pacific Rim Plant Forward Cooking (September 23-27, 2024.)

Following the announcement, invited guests enjoyed a private reception featuring renowned chef alumni from both institutions with connections to Hawai‘i. CIA graduates Ki ChungBar MazeMichelle Karr-UeokaMW RestaurantAndrew LeThe Pig and the Lady; Mark NoguchiThe Pili GroupThomas WongCIA Copia; and Roy YamaguchiRoy Yamaguchi Group of Restaurants were joined byKapi‘olani Community College alumni Keaka LeeKapa HaleRobynne Mai‘i,FêteJason PeelNami Kaze; and Alan WongAlan Wong Restaurants to celebrate their culinary education at these leading institutions. In the fall, the Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance will host Global Culinary Finesse, Celebrating the Rise of World-Class Chefs, on November 9 at Halekulani during the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival with an impressive lineup of culinary luminaries and alumniof CIP and CIA. All proceeds from the hallmark event will benefit CIP and support the continued collaboration between the two institutions.

For more information on the CIP x CIA collaboration, Workforce Development Programs, scholarship opportunities and campus updates, visit culinaryinstitute.hawaii.edu.