Students at Ivy Tech Community College in East Chicago are donning their chef's coats and preparing to present their popular dinner series once again.
The culinary department at Ivy Tech will be introducing area diners to the recipes of celebrity chefs and the flavors of various ethnic cuisines during its Thursday night dinner series. The supper events begin March 21 in the East Chicago campus' culinary department dining room at 410 E. Columbus Drive.
"This is our sixth year and it's a great event for the students. They all have to host a night and get a chance to be in the front of the house as well as the back of the house," said Beverly Seleb, adjunct faculty culinary instructor at Ivy Tech. Seleb teaches the Customer Service class, of which the series is a part.
The dinners are presented under the guidance of Seleb and Elida Abeyta, Hospitality Program chairwoman at Ivy Tech.
Advanced culinary students who take the Customer Service course through the department are responsible for putting together the meals that star in the series.
Seleb said this semester the class is comprised of 9 students who'll take the lead in choosing dinner menus, researching recipes, assisting one another in making the meals and showcasing their talents in serving and welcoming people to the dining event.
Last season, the class also highlighted recipes from celebrity chefs and it was a hit with the public as well as the students, Seleb said.
"(Working with celebrity chef recipes) helps the students visualize the plating and allows them to do more upscale plating," she said, adding there's so much information online about the star chefs' cooking styles and actual dishes that the students have a lot to refer to in terms of pictures, videos and other information.
Seleb said the series, through the years, has been popular with the community.
"The response has been good. We have positive feedback and we get a lot of repeat customers," she said. "I always get people that call asking us to let them know when the dinners will be starting."
She added, "It makes the students feel good that people are willing to come and try their menus."
Reservations are necessary for the dinner series, which runs every Thursday starting March 21 and continues through May 2. Seating begins at 4:45 p.m. and ends at 6:15 p.m. Cost is $15 per person (cash only). The meal includes an appetizer, soup or salad, choice between two entrees, choice between two desserts and a beverage. To reserve a space, call (219) 392-3600, ext. 245.
The following is the dinner series schedule:
• March 21: Paul Prudhomme/Cajun cuisine
• March 28: Stephanie Izard/ Fusion cuisine
• April 4: Wolfgang Puck: California Classical French cuisine
• April 11: Alex Guarnaschelli/ Italian-French cuisine
• April 18: Paula Deen/Southern cuisine
• April 25: Jacques Pepin/French cuisine
• May 2: Finale is a Mystery Chef