ʻUlu Ambassador: Kumu DJ High

Kumu DJ High - Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi Campus

When Kumu DJ High started teaching culinary arts to the middle school students at Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi Campus it was the beginning of the pandemic. Supply chain issues and a sudden resurgence of home baking caused a major wheat flour shortage across the state. This led kumu DJ to teach his students about locally grown and milled flour such as ʻulu flour.

Culinary arts is a popular elective class and the classroom kitchen becomes a venue for students to apply what they learn in their core classes. For example, when the students learned about Native American society in Social Studies classes, they planted a Three-Sisters garden of corn, beans, and squash and then used those ingredients along with other locally sourced items to create a Hawaiʻi-grown meal from foods indigenous to North America. 

Culinary class

What makes the KSH culinary arts program unique is the incorporation of applied science into their lessons. Kumu DJ, formerly a life science teacher, regularly conducts science experiments with his students using food. Pressure cookers demonstrate heat transfer, while yeast displays life and metabolic processes by raising baked goods or fermenting items.

culinary students

The 6th graders that are new to the culinary arts class are regularly asked by kumu DJ, “So, where does our food come from?” For most of the students, the answer is the grocery store. 

In their food systems lessons, the students are taught how Kānaka Maoli were able to sustain large populations isolated within the islands without any external imports. They are also confronted with the modern realities of Hawaiʻi’s dependence on imported foods.

“The lessons are not about returning to these times, but to understand ancient wisdom and discovering ways to incorporate this into their daily lives.” Kumu explains.

culinary students

The program is also directly tied into the KS School Garden program where freshly harvested kalo, produce, herbs and other food items are available year round for the classroom kitchen. Together the two courses are known as the KS ʻĀina2ʻŌpū program.

Students are not only able to experience growing the crops, but also transforming them into delicious dishes that they can all enjoy. The students calculate recipes, study chemical reactions, learn how to safely handle food and about health and nutrition while exploring local Hawaiian foods and Indigenous cuisines.

students making laulau

“By the end of three years in the program our goal is that the 8th grade students are able to prepare full on farm-to-table meals for themselves, their ʻohana, and the lāhui.” Kumu DJ proudly says.

Kumu DJ and his ʻUlu Ambassadors developed four fantastic recipes for the Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Co-op: gluten free banana bread, gluten free soft pretzels, gluten free pizza crust and a gluten free tempura batter using our All Purpose ʻUlu Flour Mix.


Ulu Flour is now available at KTA Superstores, Times Supermarkets, and Don Quixote stores across Hawaii!


Kumu DJ's Recipe: Maiʻa Bread

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Kumu DJ's Recipe: Tempura Batter

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Kumu DJ's Recipe: Thin and Crispy Gluten Free Pizza Crust

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Kumu DJ's Recipe: Gluten Free Soft Pretzel Bites

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