MURRAY – Murray-Calloway County Area Technology Center culinary arts students are gearing up to deliver a first-class dining experience next month in what they hope to make a new annual tradition.
Students are calling the event, scheduled for April 15-16, the ACT Bistro, and the pop-up restaurant’s menu wouldn’t seem out of place at an expensive establishment with a Michelen star or two. Tickets for the event are on sale now and 100 seats will be available on both nights.
Culinary Arts Instructor Kathleen Holman is a certified chef and graduate of the Art Institute of Colorado, later earning her Masters in Career and Technical Education from Western Kentucky University. She said she cooked all over the country before she started teaching at ATC about 12 years ago, and her students came up with the idea of selling tickets to a pop-up restaurant themselves. Although everyone is a little nervous that this is the first time he’s taking on a project of this scale, Holman said she’s fully confident they’ll present a great series of dishes.
“It’s a five-course meal with multiple choices,” says Holman. “It’s kind of like a white linen five-star restaurant, and we do that here at ATC. The students put on a show. »
Calloway County High School seniors Tyler Duncan, Dennis Campbell and Gage Bazzell serve as executive chefs and are assisted by sous chefs Tyler Carson and Ethan King. They practiced preparing the menu items this week and will soon begin training the other cooks in the class to prepare the full meal for 100 people at a time. About 35 to 40 students will be involved in organizing the event, including chefs, cooks, “mocktail bar” bartenders, waiters, runners, waiters, busses and dishwashers, said Holman.
“We used to do food sales here (before the COVID-19 pandemic), and we were wondering if we could ever have an event where we were processing and asking people to buy tickets and come eat,” Duncan said. “Chief Holman said, ‘Yeah, we could do that,’ so we started planning.”
Holman said the dinner will not only give students the experience of presenting a restaurant-quality meal, but will also advertise a great program at ATC. While many people might associate ATC with more technical programs, this event will show that the school has more diverse classes than the majority of the public realizes, she said.
“A lot of people don’t know about vocational school, or they might have some perception of it, and that’s not always accurate,” Holman said. “So it’s a good way to get the community here to look around and see what we’re doing.”
“It’s a pretty brilliant idea,” said ATC manager Dan Hicks. “The students have really bought into the idea and they’ve been pushing and pushing for it. They want to do it and it’s their baby. I think it’s totally awesome, and I hope it’s a success, for them. It’s all about the students here. It’s not about me or Mrs. Holman; it’s all about them. We want them to succeed in life and we hope it will be a great success for them. .
The students said the menu was mostly French cuisine, with some Italian influence, and the dishes were chosen from a binder available in their class. Entrees will include silky corn soup and smoked salmon flatbread, while salad options will be melon prosciutto and caprese. The seafood dish will be a choice of scallops or salmon, with the main course being Cornish hen, creamy bucatini pasta with mushroom ragout, braised prime rib with tamarind glaze or beef tenderloin a la Dijon bechamel sauce. Finally, dinner will end with a choice of panna cotta or chocolate torte for dessert.
The event will take place on Friday and Saturday April 15 and 16, with mocktails served beginning at 4:45 p.m. and a following dinner at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased from students or by calling Holman at ATC (270-753-1870) or emailing [email protected] Proceeds will be used to support ATC’s culinary arts program, Holman said.