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  • Culinary Institute Of The Pacific & Culinary Institute Of America Team Up To Transform Hospitality Training In Hawai‘i



The CIP x CIA Workforce Development Program begins this fall with two cohorts, launching a multi-year collaboration to invest in Hawai‘i’s culinary future
HONOLULU, HI (June 27, 2024) – Today, 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 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 Chung, Bar Maze; Michelle Karr-Ueoka, MW Restaurant; Andrew Le, The Pig and the Lady; Mark Noguchi, The Pili Group; Thomas Wong, CIA Copia; and Roy Yamaguchi, Roy Yamaguchi Group of Restaurants were joined by Kapi‘olani Community College alumni Keaka Lee, Kapa Hale; Robynne Mai‘i, Fête; Jason Peel, Nami Kaze; and Alan Wong, Alan 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 alumni of 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, please visit A video news release of the announcement has been made available for media here.
The programs at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific (CIP) at Kapiʻolani Community College planted its roots in 1946, then known as the “Hotel and Restaurant” program, under the Territorial Department of Public Instruction located at the Palama Settlement facilities. Since then, the program has moved from the Ala Wai Clubhouse to the Pensacola Campus to where it currently stands along the slopes of Lē‘ahi. The program has recently expanded its footprint to include the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head where two state-of-the-art culinary laboratories have been built and will soon be home to three prized facility additions: a Tasting Studio, the Food Creativity Center, and the highly anticipated CIP restaurant. The CIP program prides itself as a conduit for supporting the State of Hawai‘i’s culinary industry through a multitude of educational avenues, both short and long term, including bachelor’s degree transfer pathways, associate degrees, certificates, workforce development, and non-credit programming. The Culinary Institute of the Pacific programs extend across the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges System including programs at Leeward Community College, Kauaʻi Community College, Maui College, and Hawaiʻi Community College. For more information, visit:
Founded in 1946, the Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore. For more information, visit
The Hawai‘i Ag & Culinary Alliance (HACA) is the parent organization of the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (HFWF)—the premier epicurean destination event of the Pacific, and Hashi Media—the digital platform for curated culinary stories featuring the global network of HFWF ambassadors and talent. Founded in 2011 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, HACA’s mission is to attract national and international attention for Hawai‘i’s extraordinary culinary talent and diverse, high-quality locally grown products—ensuring the islands maintain their competitive edge as a world-class destination. Since it’s inaugural year, HACA has donated nearly $5 Million to local community and ‘āina-based organizations that support food sustainability, culinary education and agriculture. For more information, visit, follow HFWF on Instagram @HIFoodWineFest and Facebook at @HawaiiFoodandWineFestival.

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