Ivy Tech salutes popular chefs in culinary department's dinner series

2013-10-02T00:00:00Z 2013-10-03T14:41:04Z Ivy Tech salutes popular chefs in culinary department's dinner seriesEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

The cuisine of some of America's favorite celebrity chefs will once again be a highlight during a special program at Ivy Tech Community College in East Chicago.

Ivy Tech's popular dinner series kicks off this week with Southern menu items from the Dean Brothers. The culinary department at Ivy Tech will offer a variety of ethnic cuisines by famous chefs during the weekly series which runs through Dec. 5. The supper series, which is open to the general public,  begins Thursday and will be held in the East Chicago campus' culinary department dining room at 410 E. Columbus Drive.

"It's  a great event for the students," said Beverly Seleb, adjunct faculty culinary instructor at Ivy Tech. "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," Seleb said during an interview earlier this year.

The dinner series is a part of the Customer Service class at the school and is presented by the students with guidance and help from Seleb and Hospitality program chairwoman Elida Abeyta.

All students who are part of the Customer Service class preside over a specific dinner where they're responsible for researching their designated chef's recipes, planning the dinner menu and helping one another cook and prepare the meals. They must also act as welcoming hosts and servers for the event.

Seleb said the celebrity chef theme has been popular with the community for the last few seasons  so they've chosen to tackle another round of chefs' recipes and present them to the public.

"(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.

Interested food fans must make reservations for the series. Dinners are presented every Thursday through Dec. 5. Call for seating times. 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:

• Oct. 3: The Dean Brothers/Southern cuisine

• Oct. 17: Rick Bayless/Mexican cuisine

• Oct. 24: Rachael Ray/Italian-American cuisine

• Nov. 7: Sandra Lee/American cuisine

• Nov. 14: Rocco Dispirito/Italian cuisine

• Nov. 21: Elizabeth Falkner/Italian cuisine

• Dec. 5: John Besh/New Orleans cuisine

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