Class of 1981
By: Keone Adolph
Michael Kahihikolo is the cafeteria manager at Waikoloa Elementary School. Besides preparing delicious meals for students and staff, he is also responsible for making sure the cafeteria runs smoothly. This means ordering all items, processing invoices for payments and always following U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. There is a lot of paperwork involved, including a daily food base production record sheet for every meal. Michael works in two positions as both a cook and cafeteria manager, so he cooks the main dish and manages at the same time. His staff includes one baker and four half time employees.
Michael is a member of the second graduating class from Waiakea High School, the class of 1981. He then studied food service at the Hawaii Community College, graduating in 1983. His first job was Café 100, followed by stints at the Country Club and Red Carpet restaurant, then at cafeterias at Chiefess Kapiolani, Kalaniana’ole, Hilo Union and Hilo High Schools as a cook.
Michael has been working at Waikoloa Elementary School for about ten years. He has not had one food fight in his cafeteria, which made him realize that his students and teachers are thankful and appreciate their meals. A menu is set each day for each student to receive their proper dietary requirements. All fat from meat such as ground beef and pork butt is drained to lower fat content. He and his staff prepare 120 breakfast plates and 475 lunch plates every day.
Michael remembers his teachers as not only teaching the basics like math and reading, but as being genuinely concerned that their students knew right from wrong and made the right choices in life. He got credit for working in the school cafeteria and remembers going there early in the morning to help the baker and also worked during morning and lunch help with clean up. He remembers a machine that ground up leftover food, but would not accept any metal object, so he helped to separate these out. A team player, he tries hard not to be partial, loves people for who they are and takes his responsibilities seriously.