North Island College (NIC) tourism and hospitality students will be taking part in a pop-up restaurant with Crown Isle this semester. Last semester, they helped prepare and serve the Autumn Harvest Feast at NIC’s Campbell River campus. From left, Rakshid Shetty and Aishwarya Srivasdava work on preparing desserts ahead of the Autumn Harvest Dinner at North Island College on Oct. 25, 2019 in the school’s new training kitchen. The class gives tourism and hospitality students the chance to experience the kitchen side of the industry as they prepare and serve an all-you-can-eat autumn-themed buffet to paying members of the community. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

NIC’s popular pop-up restaurant returns

Only 12 dinners will be served at NIC at the Park @ Crown Isle

North Island College (NIC) tourism and hospitality students are joining forces with Chef Jonathan Frazier and The Park @ Crown Isle to offer a unique new dining opportunity starting Jan. 23.

The new pop-up restaurant, NIC at the Park @ Crown Isle, will offer patrons a menu of delicious, locally-prepared fare that is only available for a short time.

This is the second time NIC students have offered a pop-up restaurant in partnership with Crown Isle. Last year’s event was a major success, with dates quickly selling out.

Returning to the kitchen is Frazier, one of the Comox Valley’s most revered chefs and owner of the gourmet Blue Spruce Ice Cream shop.

RELATED: Practice makes perfect for Culinary Team BC

NIC students in the Food & Beverage Service THM-170 course will provide front-end service at the events.

This year’s event also includes Comox-based, Red Seal Chef Bernie Deslauriers, who will assist Frazier in the kitchen.

“I’m truthfully quite excited about returning to the kitchen for a short time and sharing the experience with the students,” said Frazier. “The response from patrons last year blew us all away, so I’m really energized to be back.”

The pop-up restaurant will be open for dinner from 5:30-8 pm on Thursdays and Fridays – except for Feb. 20 and 21 – until March 6.

The menu will include favourites from last year’s restaurant, in addition to weekly specials carefully selected by Frazier.

‘Pop-ups’ are an increasingly popular trend in the food service industry, allowing a cost-effective way for chefs to plate new dishes or concepts while offering customers new dining opportunities.

RELATED: PHOTOS: NIC tourism and hospitality students serve up Fall Feast

Pedro Caraballo Acosta, NIC tourism and hospitality instructor, said the pop-up model provides a rare opportunity for students to apply their learning and work with a world-class chef.

“Students can sharpen their skills in an applied environment with real, paying customers,” he said. “It’s a great way to get industry exposure and get noticed by potential employers.”

NIC at the Park @ Crown Isle is possible thanks to a continued partnership with Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community, which is providing the venue.

“We’re excited to partner with NIC again this year,” said Bill Kelly, Crown Isle’s general manager. “It’s a chance for us to offer a unique dining experience to our patrons and build on an excellent relationship with NIC’s tourism and hospitality programs.”

For a complete menu, schedule and reservations, visit www.nic.bc.ca/life-at-nic/nic-news/news/nic-at-the-park-2020/.

As seats are limited and fill up quickly, it’s recommended that patrons reserve early by emailing tourism@nic.bc.ca or calling 250-334-5292.

RELATED: Campbell River’s thriving culinary scene: top quality, fresh ingredients close at hand

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