The Aloha Adventure: New Meaning for the Word ‘Chefs’

When I walked into my first meeting at Kyle Shimoda’s office, I had no idea what I was getting involved with.  I had braved the streets of downtown Honolulu for the first time only to arrive late for the meeting…  I pride myself on punctuality and detest being tardy, but in my defense, I was unaware of how to navigate the area on foot and via public transportation, therefore…I was late.

The room was filled with a mix of people from all different professions but one thing in common: Food.

Kyle, dressed in crisp business-wear, seemed very excited that I came, regardless of my timing.  He greeted me with a huge smile, introduced everyone in the room and caught me up on what I had missed.  We looked over concepts, potential business structures and upcoming events.  We tossed around ideas, wrote down notes, divided up responsibilities and set a date for the next meeting.  The project was big, the idea was lovely and Kyle’s enthusiasm was not just entertaining but contagious.

That is how I became involved with C.H.E.F.S. Hawaii.
Catering Healthy Eating Food Solutions

Basically the way it all works, goes a little something like this:

  1. Take on an event for an individual, charity or non-profit organization.
  2. Define a budget.
  3. Visit local farms and stores to receive donated ingredients and products.
  4. Create a menu based on donations.
  5. Recruit volunteers to help staff the event.
  6. Provide food service to the charity or non-profit organization.
  7. Donate the money saved back to the organization to be re-appropriated for better purposes.
  8. Any profit gained is directed towards C.H.E.F.S. Hawaii’s goals of educating children and society on healthy lifestyles and better eating habits.

I worked for C.H.E.F.S. Hawaii for about 3 months and each event felt like I was on a reality TV show.  Each gig was different and presented its own challenges.  From trying to negotiate hundreds of pounds of cucumber into a smaller, more workable donation to trying to work out a decent menu for a budget of $3 a person, there were all kinds of challenges.

One of the biggest unsung heroes of C.H.E.F.S. Hawaii is Carrie Tandal.  Kyle is the man with the idea, he is the behind-the-scenes, pull in clients and create opportunities kind of guy.  Carrie is the woman behind the man.  Carrie makes things happen.  She has a day job and she is a mother; yet she manages to run errands, communicate with the clientele, organize schedules, fix last minutes problems, show up with the necessary equipment and yes, still look good.

Carrie is the type of woman that goes above and beyond the call of duty for a concept she firmly believes in.  She doesn’t mince words, is not afraid to say no, shoots straight and always has an ace up her sleeve… in other words, Carrie Tandal, is my kind of broad.

C.H.E.F.S. Hawaii does wonderful work.  Kyle Shimoda has found a need and a way to fill it.  The organization helps charities use their finances for better purposes, utilizes food products that would otherwise go to waste, provides quality service and culinary creations for a variety of budgets and C.H.E.F.S. Hawaii makes time to educate the public on how to lead healthier, happier lives.

I was honored to be a part of the beginning of C.H.E.F.S. Hawaii.  I met wonderful people, expanded my professional comfort zone and learned many new things with each new adventure.

I hope to work with the organization again during my professional career and wish them the best with their current efforts and endeavors.

Mahalo C.H.E.F.S. Hawaii!


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