When the culinary arts program began in the late 1960s, it was part of Maui Community College. Since that time, thousands of students have passed through this threshold and embarked upon careers in the food industry. You may wonder why Tom and I are interested in this program. We think that it’s a nice departure from the typical restaurant scene and a lovely way to support the education of budding chefs and bakers.
Chef Teresa Shurilla is the culinary arts program coordinator and head of the baking program. Prior to joining the school, Chef Teresa worked all around the world, including far-reaching places such as Europe, NYC, and LA. Although Chef started as a part-time educator, she transitioned into a full-time instructor and now heads the program.
Students motivate Chef Teresa to give all of herself to the program. The students are hard workers. Most of them work in addition to spending long hours at school. Their dedication is infectious. Approximately 100 students are enrolled in the two-year program. Upon graduation, many attain positions at high-end restaurants and hotels in Maui. Others venture off to places restaurants around the world.
The $17 million facility supports all the culinary arts classes, two outlets at the college’s food court, and a fine dining restaurant. The pride and joy are the food court outlets. Open during the academic year, students, faculty, and outside customers like Tom and I are treated to delicious dishes at lunch. “World Plate” is a batch cook stand that serves fresh meals ready to go. “Paniolo Grill” offers made-to-order selections. It’s nice to see the pride with which the students serve their food. Menus change each week. “The Leis Family Class Act Restaurant” is the fine dining establishment. Seating for 75 diners is in high demand for this fixed price restaurant. Be sure to reserve a table before you go.
If you happen to be in Maui during the Summer season when the student run restaurants are closed, there is a silver lining. Chef Teresa runs a pastry workshop for a small number of students. Here, they hone their craft in making bread, pastries, and croissants. On most Thursdays, they hold a “Back Door Bake Shop” where students sell their delicious treats. Be sure to check on the program’s website each week to learn the hours of this special “pop-up.”
The next time you visit Maui, try something different and visit the culinary program’s dining outlets for a new food experience. Your food adventure supports a great program. And even better, your taste buds and stomach will the happy!
Ready for your next food adventure? We can help! Contact us for additional details.