News Release 08-125-D
UCC culinary arts students preparing, serving elegant, multi-course meals
News Release 08-125-D For more information:
Release date: 05/15/09 Bentley Gilbert
For immediate release (541) 440-7747
Winchester -- The culinary arts students of Umpqua Community College are preparing and serving elegant, multi-course “prix fixe” or fixed-price dinners to the public as their final project for the year on Thursday, May 21, and Thursday, May 28.
Two teams of students will prepare and serve meals at 6:30 – 9 p.m. each Thursday in Douglas Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $16 and available at the College’s website at umpqua.edu: Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Buy Tickets” button and look for Prix Fixe Dinner (1) or Prix Fixe Dinner (2) – or phone at 440-7700.
“Most of these students are training to work in the real world where their meals and service will be graded by the public and the market place,” said UCC culinary arts instructor Chris VanDyke. “These ‘prix fixe’ meals are a way to bring the dining public into our classroom.”
Each team has picked a flavor and theme to build their six-course meals around. The student-chef teams are of diverse backgrounds, ranging from a rock musician to a Roseburg Forest Products employee to a former school teacher to a wildland firefighter, different personalities and ages that span 40 years. A member of the May 21 team, Donna Collins, was the chef of one of the two food-wine pairing tables that UCC had at the Greatest of the Grape in March at Seven Feathers. The leader of May 28 team, Jason Mack, was the silver medalist in food-wine pairing at this year’s Greatest of the Grape.
On May 21, the menu will begin with prawns in white wine and lemon on a dilled cucumber salad, followed by swirled pea and potato soup and a limeade and rhubarb sorbet. The entrée is seared breast of duck with a black pepper cherry reduction. Dessert follows with a lemon mousse and fresh raspberries.
On May 28, the menu begins with fillo cups stuffed with savory pork and apple glaze, followed by vegetable acini soup. Then, guests will be served Martha’s Vineyard Salad, followed by a fresh lemon granite with raspberry glaze. The entrée is spinach, asparagus and pesto stuffed tenderloin of pork with a southwest chili sauce. Dessert is almond crusted lemon tart topped with a spring berry sauce and cherry brandy whipped cream.
The diners at these two meals are invited to be the chefs’ toughest critics. Grade cards will be at each place at each table for the diners to grade and comment on the meal and service. Those grades will comprise half the grade of the students for this project. Between each course, the cooks describe the ingredients, how it was prepared and why it was chosen.
These popular dinners, in their second year, are at the Fairgrounds because the UCC kitchen is being remodeled and expanded to better serve students, the public and the campus committee as one of UCC state stimulus projects.
Whatever the location, these meals are becoming a fixture of the Umpqua Valley culinary scene. Last year, the number of diners doubled during the week, from one meal to the next.