On Saturday, November 14, twenty-two North High Culinary students took on the challenge of preparing and serving a very labor-intensive, five-course gourmet dinner for 50 guests at the Grapes and Gourmet Club's Autumn Wine Pairing Event, held at the Elks Club. The Grapes and Gourmet Club worked with the students and their teacher, Karen Sullivan, to determine a menu that would compliment their list of wines. The project served as an authentic learning assessment, replacing a final exam for Culinary Arts 3 students.
For the Hospitality Foods Co-op students, it was one of the honors level assessments that they are expected and required to participate in. The students learned an employability skills lesson in dedication, responsibility, time management, thinking on their feet, problem solving, teamwork, professional appearance and behavior. Their culinary skills and abilities grew by leaps and bounds through working on this project, gaining confidence in creating menu items that are comparable to restaurant quality in flavor and appearance.
The majority of the students worked from 1:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on the day of the event that was preceded by a week of intense mise en place and prep work to get ready. The students were delighted at the guests' satisfaction of their work and meal. Many of them asked when the next big event would be happening, anxious to take on another rigorous project. The experience "fueled" some of the younger, less-experienced students' passion to work in the food-service industry.
North students who participated in serving the dinner were: David Callahan, Mai Soua Chang, Eric Cudney, Katie Johnson, Rya Johnson, Chong Lee, Gee Lee, Kiki Lo, Colin Willis, Ariel Anderson, Leticia Bilbrey, Andrew Bubb, Tom Chang, Adia Jacks, Derek Klockow, Kyle Mares, Justin Siburt, Marissa Taylor, Hanna Yurista, and Adam Zitzer.
The menu and wine parings consisted of:
- Appetizer: Spinach and Artichokes in Puff Pastry
Aperitif: Selection of red & white sparkling wines
- Salad: Fennel and Apples with Toasted Walnuts, Shaved Parmesan Cheese and Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing
Wine: 2008 Dry Creek Chenin Blanc
- Soup: Wild Mushroom Soup with a French Baguette Bread Basket
Wine: 1999 Spring Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon-91 pts.
- Entree: Herb Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine & Fig Reduction, Mashed Potatoes and Pureed Horseradish Root, Haricot Verts with Carmelized Shallots, Bacon Bits and Hollandaise Sauce
Wines: 1996 Altamura Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon-92 pts., 2004 Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon-93 pts.
- Dessert: Crepe Filled with Creme Patissiere, Topped with Flambeed Bananas, Meringue and Pecan Praline
Wine: Graham's 10 Year Tawny Port