There were four contestants today at Kapiolani Community College (KCC) performing two taro recipes, one entree and one dessert each. I enjoyed myself. It was not only about judging this contest. It inspired me to write a book, the definitive book on taro, both the classic recipes and the new reinterpreted recipes. I already have many recipes, since this is what I really enjoy doing. For a long time I have enjoyed taking something old and making something new.
These students did great. They made taro shave ice, jaboticava sauce, taro cannoli, taro cake, taro mochi, taro fries, poi stew, poi sauce (inspired by one of my earlier recipes which surprised me and made me happy).
I reminded the kids that competing brings out the best in them. It is important to put yourself in this position to do something out of the ordinary, to work in the process, and to subject yourself to that level of criticism and judgement. It will eventually make you better. In this business you never stop learning, and you never can allow yourself to stop listening to critique. To compete is to challenge yourself, to be in pursuit of excellence, and to be the best you can be. I really had a good time today. Thank you Pamela and the four contestants.