Dining room opens up to community
Annual event raises money for culinary arts trip
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 14:10
The culinary arts department will host its second annual Champagne and Chocolate Event to benefit the department’s scholarship and study abroad program.
The event will take place on Nov. 11 at the Three Seasons Restaurants from noon to 3 p.m.
Culinary arts Chairperson Nader Sharkes said, “This event is a big introduction to the outside community. We open our kitchen to outside visitors for them to see what we offer at the college.”
The menu will showcase chocolate as the main component, and up to eight local and European chocolate manufacturers will contribute to the menu. Different types of champagne will be served, ranging from sec (dry) to sweet, as well as specialty coffee drinks.
This year, one of the dishes featured will be bacon-dipped chocolate. Sharkes said a Mexican mole sauce (pronounced moh-lay) will also be added to the menu. Students will also serve spiced chocolates, cookies, cakes, ice cream and a chocolate fountain.
Angel Chau, instructional assistant for the department, said vendors donate the ingredients needed to lower the food costs. Vendors will include local chocolate company Guittard Chocolate, Holy Cow Coffee and Elite Food.
Guests will get to walk through different stations in the kitchen where they can choose a dish of their liking. Walking by each station gives guests the opportunity to see what the students are making and meet this year’s scholarship and study abroad students.
Like the Food and Wine Event which happens in April every year, the Champagne and Chocolate Event helps raise money to send students abroad.
“This event serves as a warm up for the Food and Wine Event,” Sharkes said.
Chau said estimates of last year’s profit was around $1,000 and this year’s goal is to make more.
Each year about 10 culinary students are sent to train in Asia and Europe through the program.
Last June students were sent to Parma, Italy.
Culinary Arts Club member Beatriz Dominguez said the club will be in charge of running the event.
“We are hoping to expand it and that is where the club comes in and helps,” Dominguez said.
In order to advertise, Chau said the students are reaching out to different organizations to spread the word.
“So far, advertisements have only been fliers and word-of-mouth. I’m thinking about stepping up and promoting it through Twitter,” Dominguez said.
As a culinary student at Contra Costa College, Dominguez wants to help make the event successful because she wants to be one of the students to go and study abroad.
Sharkes said at $5,400 per student, success for all culinary events is crucial.
Tickets for the Champagne and Chocolate Event can be purchased in advance by check or cash at the Three Seasons Restaurant or at the door.