Culinary students’ talent showcased to community

MCCC’s Culinary Program held its second buffet of the semester Friday, March 20.
Chef Kevin Thomas recommends getting to these banquets ahead of time to ensure a good seat.
The theme of the last banquet was “Tasting Across America.”
“It’s regional foods from around the country, so we’ll have areas such as the East and West coasts’ cuisines,” Chef Thomas said.
“We’ll also do something in the Midwest area, the Southwest area, and even in the southern parts of the country. You know, kind of Georgia, South Carolina, even New Orleans, that kind of stuff.”
The students were put in groups and each group was assigned an area of the country to prepare food from. First year students prepared the pastries and desserts, and second year students handled the meal itself.
Tickets to the banquets are $20.
“It’s (the banquets) more to show off the students’ skills, but it does help to offset the cost,” Thomas said.
 “It’s a very expensive program. Our program is expensive because the cost of food and beverage never go down. They always go up, so we’re continuously trying to find ways to offset our cost. It certainly doesn’t pay for the buffet, it just helps,” he said.
Chef Thomas explained that the majority of the customers are members of the community.
“We do get a lot of the administrators here on campus. We don’t get a lot of students because I think the buffet experience takes about an hour and a half.”
He said that because most students are in class, they can’t afford to spend time at the buffet.
“So it’s all mostly community people, some of the administration and a few of the faculty members here on campus. Staff too.”
The next buffet is scheduled for Thursday, April 2, at 11:30 a.m. Tickets will be $20. The theme will be “A Taste of History.”
The last buffet of the semester is part of the ongoing One Book, One Community series of events. The theme of that buffet will be “Tour of Michigan.” This banquet has already sold out.
“We are actually doing foods from the state of Michigan, because the woman who wrote the book that the One Book One Community is based around, she’s from Michigan, she’s from Kalamazoo,” Thomas explained.
“She’s big on sustainability and that kind of stuff, so we’re going to do all local products as much as we possibly can, and all the stuff throughout the state of Michigan.”