The Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui hosted its fifth annual Little Chef Big Chef gala at the Fairmont Kea Lani on Nov. 15. Seven BGCM “Little Chef” teams under the direction of “Big Chefs” from Maui’s top restaurants competed against each other with their signature pupu for the coveted People’s Choice Award.
The evening, presided over by celebrity masters of ceremony Kim Gennaula and Guy Hagi, featured culinary tastings, dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, and dancing. The 2019 Big Chefs included Isaac Bancaco (Andaz Maui), Matt Dela Cruz (Humble Market Kitchin), James Domingo (Leilani’s on the Beach), Mike Lofaro (Grand Wailea Resort), Grant Oura (OGO), Ivan Pahk (Star Noodle), and Geno Sarmiento (Ekolu Kitchen 1279).
This year’s sold out event resulted in a tie between Central Club under the direction of chef Sarmiento with their three cheese gnocchi served with ratatouille and a micro panzanella salad, and Paukukalo Club under the direction of chef Domingo with their charred tako, Hawaiian kalo croquette, coconut creamed lu‘au leaf, and lomi lomi tomato.
The first annual Whatever It Takes award, which was established to honor a special person who has gone the extra mile to support BGCM and Maui’s youth, was presented at the gala to club president Karey Kapoi. Kapoi was selected by BGCM because she exemplifies great leadership and has been instrumental in making an impact with her connections and growth of the organization. Kapoi joined the BGCM Board of Directors in 2014 and currently serves as the president.
With more than 30 sponsors and 400 esteemed guests, the event raised more than $120,000 for their evidence-based, life-changing programs. Funds raised will remain on Maui to serve more than 2,200 Club members island wide.