Our Story

The Culinary Arts Program at Kapi‘olani Community College is recognized for its placement in regional and national culinary competitions, its focus on promoting and using locally sourced ingredients in their contemporary cuisine, their fair market costs, their multi-industry alliances, and the alumni who have become outstanding and successful chefs.

As a concept kitchen, Lē‘ahi will create multiple dining concepts that will become the model for the highly anticipated restaurant at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi).

Chef Eddie Mafnas

Chef Eddie Mafnas developed passion and love for the culinary world while working at his family-owned bakery in Guam. At the young age of 19, Chef Eddie had the opportunity to open multiple restaurants in a variety of international cities: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Cape Town, South Africa, to name a few. To further expand his knowledge of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Chef Eddie attended and graduated from the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapi’olani Community college with an A.S. degree in Culinary Arts. During his education, he was the captain of the competition team which won a gold medal in regional competition. Chef Eddie is also the owner of Mafnas Catering, co-owner of the Aloha Poke Shop, and co-owner of the Firehouse Food truck. As a caterer, he has worked for several A-list celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Christina Aguilera, Kanye West, Jay Z, and Beyonce. Excited for the opportunity to teach students and create local dishes, Eddie is honored and humbled to be impacting students and the community at the Le’ahi Concept Kitchen. Understanding the use of fresh, local ingredients and actively promoting the Farm to Plate movement is Chef Eddie’s main focus. His passion is to stay connected to the land and utilize each ingredient to its fullest potential. He enjoys collaborating with other chefs in the community and donates his time by teaching students local Hawaiian cuisine via the Kupu environmental organization and Nihon University.

Gratuity Free Zone

We pay our staff a livable wage. No tips will be accepted by our staff. If you would like to donate to Kapio‘lani Community College, we do accept donations at our foundation website. Those donations are used for a multitude of uses from scholarships for students, equipment and expenses in our school, and advancing the education of our students. We appreciate any donation you would like to make. Please go to http://culinary.kapiolani.hawaii.edu/donate-support/ to make your donation.

15% Service Fee

The 15% fee is collected from all Kapio‘lani Community College outlets and that fee is used to help offset the high costs of maintenance for our campus. No part of this fee goes to any employee or staff member.

Alex Quach- Sous Chef

Born and raised in Hawaii, Alexander Quach graduated from Kapiolani Community College with an associate degree in Culinary Arts while studying heavily in Bio-Engineering. He was the 1st place winner of the 2015 Pamela Young Mixed Plate Competition, awarded bronzed for the 2013 American Culinary Foundation Cooking Competition, co-owned a private chef business Expression, and has 8 years of food and beverage experience in a 300 person restaurant. Alex’s passion is to showcase culture and ‘aina through food as art on a plate


BYOB Policy

You can bring your own bottle from your personal collection…or purchase from the ABC store right around the corner by Lewers and Kalia. ABC store has a great selection of wines and beers priced moderately to some very select stock.
Corkage fee
The corkage fee is $10 per bottle of wine and $1.00 per bottle of beer. This is to offset the cost of providing glassware, ice, and beverage service.

**Beer and Wine Beverages ONLY**

Priscilla Mathewson

Priscilla Mathewson is an extraordinary asset to the Le’ahi team. She is an active member in the United States Army Reserves. When she’s not out defending our country she is working hard behind the scenes to keep the restaurant admin working smoothly and efficiently.

FOH & BOH staff

The Le’ahi Staff is unlike any other that you will find anywhere else. Everyone in the FOH or BOH has some affiliation with Kapiolani Community College. These are students paving the way for future students to have a shot in the real world industry. So many times students graduate college and cannot be hired anywhere because they have no credible experience in the “adult world”. Here are Le’ahi we break down those barriers and give our future working generation a shot at success right out of college.