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  • The Kahala and James Beard Foundation Scholarship Awarded to Vaneza Lyn Agustin

The Kahala and James Beard Foundation Scholarship Awarded to Vaneza Lyn Agustin

The Kahala Hotel & Resort Sponsors $5000 Scholarship for KCC Culinary Student

Honolulu, HI… Vaneza Lyn Agustin has won the James Beard Foundation Scholarship sponsored by The Kahala Hotel & Resort for a student from the University of Hawaii's Kapi'olani Community College. Her application was submitted to the Scholarship Management Services division of Scholarship America, a well-respected nonprofit organization that has helped award scholarships to over one million students, and was rated according to a standardized system based on such factors as grade point average, extracurricular activities including work experience, letters of recommendation, and financial need. The James Beard Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee then selected her for the scholarship after final review.

Vaneza will graduate from the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head this coming December with degrees in Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts. She enrolled in 2010 after graduating from the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech. She says that her passion for cooking was ignited by a trip to

Asia where "the hole in the wall food stalls embedded a lasting impression on my palate. The cooks behind these stalls had food in their blood and sweated flavor into their dishes. Behind each bowl or dish I tasted, was a story." While attending culinary classes, she also volunteered for a number of culinary events. In 2012, she and a culinary partner entered the Kahala Nui Healthy-licious cooking competition and won first place with an original recipe. Later that year, she took the Silver Medal for her opakapaka recipe in the American Culinary Federation Student Expo Hot Food Competition.

Vaneza will get a chance to join The Kahala culinary team under the direction of Executive Chef Wayne Hirabayashi at a special dinner event in Hoku's on Wednesday, October 2nd as a guest chef.

The James Beard Foundation/Kahala Hotel & Resort Scholarship is the result of a major fundraising effort spearheaded by The Kahala during a 2012 month-long culinary tribute to iconic American chef and cookbook author Julia Child, culminating with a James Beard Foundation Dinner. The sold-out affair reunited chefs from around the country who had worked previously at The Kahala, including Ryan Loo, Colin Hazama, Warren Uchida (who is Chef Instructor at KCC) and Master Sommelier Patrick Okubo of Young's Market of Hawaii. The Kahala's in-house culinary team included Executive Chef Hirabayashi, Pastry Chef Michael Moorhouse, and Food and Beverage Director Todd Oldham.

"The Kahala is especially proud to have sponsored this James Beard Foundation Scholarship in support of Kapiolani Community College's Culinary Arts Program and to have helped someone as dedicated and gifted as Vaneza take her place as one of Hawaii's new generation of young chefs," said Carmine Iommazzo, General Manager of The Kahala .

With 338 guestrooms, The Kahala Hotel & Resort is an oceanfront destination resort known for its impeccable service and hospitality. Just minutes from Waikiki, yet offering the peace and serenity of a neighbor island experience, The Kahala has been Honolulu's social address for weddings and gatherings since its opening in 1964. Captains of industry and celebrity guests continue to call The Kahala their home-away-from-home in Hawai'i. Travel + Leisure ranks The Kahala among the Top 6 Hawaii resorts and among the World's Best 100 Hotels in its 2012 World's Best Awards. US News & World Report named The Kahala Best Oahu Hotels (Top 3) in 2011 and 2012. Successful Meetings gave the hotel a Pinnacle Award for three years in a row, 2010-2012. Open Table named Plumeria Beach House in their Best 100 Restaurants for Brunch. gave The Kahala a 2012 Traveler's Choice Award for Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the United States.

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