KAPA DJ moves on to next elimination round in Favorite Chef contest

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Darde Gamayo with granddaughter Jodenella Alameda. Photo courtesy: Darde Gamayo

KAPA DJ Darde Gamayo made the cut, once again, and is in the second elimination round for Favorite Chef.

Up against home chefs from around the United States, Gamayo is in the running to win $25,000 and have one of her food dishes photographed and published in “Taste of Home” magazine.

The winner will also get a chance to cook with celebrity chef Carla Hall.

Click here to vote.


Contestants move forward by the public voting for their favorite chef. As of Tuesday evening, Gamayo was in second place. Voting in this elimination round ends Thursday where 10 home chefs will move forward.

Pig feet stew made by Darde Gamayo

Gamayo, who was anonymously nominated for the contest, said she doesn’t know how far she’ll get, but if she won she believes it would provide Hawai‘i an opportunity to showcase Hawaiian home food, which she describes as simplistic and flavorful.

If she does win, Gamayo plans to submit a dish for the “Taste of Home” magazine that includes canned goods, likely spam.


“We’re not afraid of canned goods,” Gamayo said, adding it’s not just spam but also Vienna sausage, peas and more.

“I want them to realize how simple and delicious Hawaiian home food is,” she added.

Gamayo has been sharing her skill with her granddaughter Jodenella Alameda, 18, who believes she can capture the Favorite Chef title.


Alameda said her favorite meal her tūtū makes is pig feet stew. With meat inside the foot, she said Gamayo includes ulu, potato, noodles, onions and garbanzo beans in the dish.

“It sounds weird,” the 18-year-old admitted. “It has all these different flavors. Don’t let the pig feet throw you off.”

Alameda was young when Gamayo started teaching her how to cook. Learning the best way to prepare noodles, the teen has now learned to make a variety of dishes including traditional Hawaiian meals like lau lau, lomi salmon and poke.

If she does win, Gamayo plans to donate a portion of the $25,000 to her local charity that takes food to our local kūpuna (elders).

There are two titles for the taking. The first is People’s Choice and the other is Carla’s Pick.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a full-time reporter for Pacific Media Group. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.

Tiffany can be reached at
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