North Island College tourism and hospitality students got a taste of life in the kitchen at the Autumn Harvest Dinner in Campbell River on Friday.
A handful of students served and prepared a fall-themed feast to members of the community during the first of two all-you-can-eat buffets at NIC’s newly renovated teaching kitchen and restaurant, The Bistro.
Students were busy laying out charcuterie boards, picking fresh mint and chopping fruit and vegetables for the meal.
The menu was a celebration of fall comfort food with classics like roasted garlic mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup and caesar salad. Other dishes got fun twists like roasted chicken breast with chorizo stuffing and citrus cream sauce, grilled salmon with maple glaze and fresh pineapple salsa and crab cakes with fresh pico de gallo.
Students, overseen by NIC tourism and hospitality management instructor Pedro Caraballo Acosta, served the buffet to a sold-out seating at The Bistro.
Caraballo Acosta said the class is all about the service side of the industry and gives students a taste of what working in a commercial kitchen is like.
He says students graduate as generalists rather than specialists.
“They (industry companies) expect us to send someone that will hit the ground running at a reasonable speed,” he said. “The industry is extremely fast-paced.”
There is one more event this fall with a different batch of students and a new menu. Tickets are still available for the Nov. 15 seating from 6- 8 p.m.
“We look forward to hosting these dinners every year and it’s even more exciting to be able to greet our guests in The Bistro,” he said. “We’ve very excited for the community to come and dine with us.”
November’s menu will look a lot different from the fare served in October.
The spread will include Angus beef cheese spheres, salmon croquette, sea scallop and potato, fish wrap and bread roll for starters; chicken vegetable/rice broth and fish chowder for soups; king caesar, spicy tuna pasta, red and green coleslaw and chicken curry for salads; sweet and sour pork tenderloin, salmon and Hollandaise sauce, breaded chicken breast and provolone cheese/ black forest ham, and sausage stuffing for mains, mashed and waffle potato, black and white rice, maple carrot, broccoli and cheese, mushrooms and onion and mediterranean style cauliflower for sides; and wafer chocolate mousse brownie, key lime pie shot, empire pastry and new fashion yoghurt fruit delight for dessert.