Culinary Arts provides a gourmet repast

Johnny Weber

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — The culinary arts program hosted a gourmet five-course dining experience on Thursday, April 12, in Room 177 of the Griffin Center to help train the program’s students and to provide excellent quality meals to other students.

The culinary arts program hosts the dinner every Thursday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm for $20 dollars per person. It is a great deal considering the quality and amount of food you are given, plus it is a great idea for a date night without spending too much money. You do not have to be a student to purchase tickets.

The menu consisted of a choice of one appetizer, and “intermezzo” sorbet, a main course, a dessert course, and ended with petit fours.

Throughout the dining experience, elegant pieces of classical music were playing such as Vivaldi’s “Spring” and “Summer” compositions that perfectly complemented the meal and set the atmosphere of the classy dining experience I was about to have.

The napkins were folded into tuxedos and set onto golden plates. Water and “Arnold Palmers”–ice tea and lemonade–were served. The courses themselves were presented with the utmost attention to detail and arranged with artistic sophistication.

The appetizer course consisted of a choice between a white bean and corn soup, a composed medley of greens, tossed romaine leaves, and a mushroom bisque. The mushroom bisque was executed brilliantly. Visually, the crème and the bisque were swirled together to form a pinwheel pattern. The flavors blended together and complemented one another. The mushrooms added a nice textural component to the creamy bisque.

Between the appetizer and the entrée, an “intermezzo” or intermediate course was served. It was a raspberry sorbet with a ginger glaze and diced cucumbers. It was excellently presented in a martini glass.

I chose the rosemary crusted pork medallion with spring vegetables and mashed potatoes and a gravy sauce. The pork was tender and the crust provided a textural contrast to the rest of the plate. The dish was executed perfectly. My companions at the table said that the braised beef was tender and cooked perfectly.

The dessert had a surprise choice between “romancing with chocolate,” or “reminiscing with fruit,” and turned out to be a choice between a chocolate mousse raspberry cake and a crème bruleé. The presentation of the chocolate mousse was brilliant. On the plate, a checkerboard pattern of raspberry and chocolate sauces crisscrossed the plate. The mousse was smooth and the tanginess of the raspberries blended excellently. It kept me wanting more every bite that I took.

The petit fours consisted of “Mexican wedding cakes and chocolate cookies” and was served with coffee. The cookies were smooth and had a high quality taste.

I tip my hat to the culinary arts students who prepared the meals. It truly was a tantalizing and stimulating experience and I would definitely recommend that  anyone and everyone try it.

Weber is managing editor of GC Summit.  He may be contacted at [email protected]