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Kaua‘iCC culinary arts students get hands-on with guest chef

COVID-related travel restrictions may have kept Team Hawai‘i from participating in the annual Sapporo Ice Festival in Japan, but they could not stop Dale Radonski and Charlie Matsuda from working with the second-year culinary-arts students at Kaua‘i Community College under a guest chefs program.

“Charlie Matsuda is part of Team Hawai‘i,” said Radonski, who is the team captain for Team Hawai‘i. “He’s from Kaua‘i. Traditionally, we come over following the Sapporo Ice Festival. We couldn’t go this year because of the pandemic, but we’re here.”

Radonski and Matsuda worked with KCC culinary-arts students in two-day, hands-on, fruit-and- vegetable- and ice-sculpting classes.

Kaua‘i Community College culinary-arts instructor Mark Oyama said the second-year students are on track to graduate at the end of the semester, and the class with the guest chefs is just another step to get the students ready for graduation.

“They got it!” Radonski said Thursday. “They’re good students, and learn fast.”

The visiting chefs worked alongside the students, guiding their minds and hands to create masterpieces from blocks of ice.

“The students did really good with the fruits and vegetables,” Radonski said. “They also had overnight to think about the principles that make fruit and vegetable carving similar to those used in ice sculpting. That could possibly be the key to the students grasping the concepts quickly. Previously, we did the fruit carving on the same day as the ice sculpting, and that could have been too much for the students.”

Sweden Ernsdorf was one of the students who waited to move on to an advanced project after completing her project that was inspired by her fruit-and-vegetable-carving project.

“It was scary at first,” Ernsdorf said. “Especially the chainsaw part. But it was good. I didn’t realize how much work goes into doing a project. My hands are sore.”

Radonski moved on to advanced projects after noticing several of the students were eager to proceed.

“There are other ice sculptors in Hawai‘i who charge for this kind of instruction,” Radonski said. “God gave me this talent of ice sculpting, and we, Charlie and myself, love to share this by teaching others the craft. All we ask in return is a good plate lunch.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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