JJC Culinary Arts Department, Student Chefs to Host Spring Gala for Community April 17

Joliet Junior College culinary arts students will showcase their talents at this year’s Spring Gala with a delicious seven-course meal on Friday, April 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. on the Main Campus at 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.

Student chefs at the 2014 Spring Gala.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served from 6-7 p.m. on the Bridge, and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. in the former cafeteria in the J-Building. The cost is $95 per person, with only 160 tickets available.

Click here to view photos from the 2014 Spring Gala

More than two-thirds of proceeds will go toward student scholarships (ranging from $500-$1,000), professional development for faculty, and new equipment for the Culinary Arts Department. All other proceeds pay for ingredients for the gala.

This year, an extra course has been added to the menu that will feature homemade cheeses and meats – skills students have learned in a new class at JJC called Garde Manger, which is French for “Manager of the Garden.” Culinary Arts Department Chair Mike McGreal said the extra course was added so that students could demonstrate what they have learned in the class – how to make fresh and aged cheeses, cured and aged meats, and fresh sausages.

Many of the meats featured at the gala will come from local farms, a sustainable trend that the JJC Culinary Arts Department has been incorporating into many of its events.

The Spring Gala is typically a culinary student’s first experience behind the scenes of a fine dining event, according to McGreal.

“In this stage in their careers, our students haven’t experienced many fine dining events,” McGreal said. “But with a little guidance, hard work and determination, the Spring Gala is an event where they can be proud of the fact that they’ve produced some of the same types of courses that the finest cooks in Chicago have.”

This year’s seven-course menu will feature:

  • First Course: House made cheese and salumi
  • Second Course: Soup of spring greens with roasted garlic
  • Third Course: Roasted sturgeon with Sourdough horseradish crust
  • Fourth Course: Mache and frisee salad
  • Intermezzo: Ruby red grapefruit sorbet
  • Sixth Course:  Strip loin roasted in olive oil and herbs with red wine syrup
  • Seventh Course: Raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate

The cost to attend the gala is $95 per person. To make reservations, contact Dori Miller at 815-280-2255 or stop by J-0009 on the Main Campus.

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