Joliet Junior College Culinary student chefs will serve a delicious seven-course meal to guests at their annual Spring Gala on Friday, April 29 from 6 to 10 p.m., on the college’s Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet. Hors d’oeuvres will be served from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Bridge, and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. in the J-Building.
The community is invited to attend the gala, which costs $95 per person.
This year’s menu will include:
First Course: Charcuterie and Cheese Bread
Second Course: Spring Pea Soup with Roasted Garlic
Third Course: Salmon 48C, Salted Lemon Crunch and Lobster Salmon Terrine
Fourth Course: Arrangement of Green Goddess and Salad Accoutrements
Intermezzo: Hibiscus Sorbet
Sixth Course: Beef Tenderloin, Mushroom Sausage, Bone Marrow Crumble
Seventh Course: Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Cactus Pear
In an effort to become more sustainable and help local farmers, much of the meal will be prepared using local meats, a trend the Culinary Arts Department has incorporated into many of its fine dining events.
Those who attend will not only get to enjoy the seven-course meal paired with local craft beer from Pollyanna Brewery, and a variety of wonderful wines from Southern Wine and Spirits, but they will also get to help students gain real world experience, according to JJC Culinary Arts Department Chair Mike McGreal.
“In school, we’re teaching by the book. The spring gala takes those lessons and actually allows our students to apply them to a real life setting,” McGreal said. “In this stage in their careers, our students haven’t experienced many fine dining events, but this is a time when 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.”
All proceeds from the gala go toward buying ingredients and equipment for the Culinary Arts Department as well as scholarships (ranging from $500-$1,000) for students and professional development for faculty. Students will be awarded scholarships at the gala.
Last year, JJC’s culinary scholarships totaled $30,000 according to McGreal.
For more information about the JJC Culinary Arts Department, please visit www.jjc.edu/culinary-arts.