Updated: September 22, 2022
After more than two years, the Pā‘ina Food Court at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College reopens to the public on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
University administrators say students in the award-winning culinary arts program are finally able to do what they do best – cook lunch for their college ʻohana and the Maui community at large.
The food court will remain open until the end of the Spring 2022 semester on Wednesday, May 4. Two food outlets – World Plate and Paniolo Grill – offer menus of a variety of dishes including at least one vegetarian selection.
The Pā‘ina Building hours are from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and lunch is from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
Ordering must be in-person, with an option for pick up at a later time. “You can come in, pre-order and pre-pay and your order can be picked up later at either World Plate or Paniolo Grill, whichever outlet you ordered from,” according to a UHMC announcement.
“Or, you can come in at the time you’re ready to eat and order, pay and wait for your food. Wait times should be short since there are many food items to choose from and there will be two cashiers during lunch time hours,” the announcement said.
Both locations take credit cards only, and have no cash on hand.
“UHMC students, faculty, and staff have been able to enjoy lunch inside Pā‘ina for the last couple of weeks and the experience is getting rave reviews from faculty, staff, and students alike,” according to school administrators.
Chef Instructor Gary Johnson teaches the World Plate class filled with second-year students who have not been able to experience real customers yet.
“I’m excited for students to engage with patrons and community again,” said Johnson. :They can feel what it’s like to work in the culinary industry given real-world situations like this. The students get a sense of pride and satisfaction being able to share their passion for food with our community. And having patrons coming back to the cafeteria completes the learning process and provides a great learning environment.”
“Being able to come into the food court on campus is all part of the Maui College experience,” said Maile Shinshiro is a first-year Liberal Arts student. “I love being able to see all the different food available here. I didn’t know that they have new and different menu items each week. Having lived in Japan, I am a huge fan of Miso Ramen, so that’s what I ordered. Everything so far has exceeded my expectations.”
Judith Velsinger is a lawyer from Germany who is currently studying at UH Maui College’s Maui Language Institute to improve her conversational English. “It’s so nice to come to the cafeteria and see people again. Things are starting to feel more normal, especially when I can enjoy eating with my friends. The food is excellent,” she said.