Menu announced for Culinary Arts Showcase

INA, Ill. (March 11, 2014) – An international menu has been announced for the Rend Lake College Culinary Arts Showcase, the student-run restaurant that opens March 20. Culinary Arts Instructor Jeff Fairbanks said the theme of the menu is “cuisine with global influence,” whether it is the style of preparation or the seasonings involved.

“The influence comes from current food trends that are going on in the food industry right now,” said Fairbanks. “As a part of putting together this menu, the students used the National Restaurant Association to see what is important in the trends now.”

RLC Restaurant Operations students have been working all semester on a full menu consisting of appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, and desserts. Both freshmen and sophomores enrolled in the course design the menu, cook, serve, and clean, covering all aspects of a restaurant business.

For the appetizers, the menu includes: Smoked Pork Carnitas, pulled pork with Spanish tones, served with spicy slaw; Spinach Involtino, fresh spinach, roasted peppers, and cream cheese rolled together in a sundried tomato flatbread; and Gyoza, dumplings filled with chicken and vegetable mixture.

The soup portion includes: Carne Ropa Vieja, the house specialty soup also known as Puerto Rican shredded beef soup; or Soup du Jour, see server for details. The salads are House Salad, a mix of fresh greens topped with grapes, strawberries, and goat cheese croutons, dressed with strawberry champagne vinaigrette; or Ides of March, a classic Caesar salad with some special touches, romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, goat cheese croutons, shaved prosciutto, and cherry tomatoes.

Entrées on the menu are: Pad Thai, the choice of beef or tofu with rice noodles and stir fried vegetables; Tuscan Shrimp Pasta, tender shrimp sautéed and served with fresh pasta in a spicy tomato sauce; Sweet and Spicy Chicken, Spanish style roasted chicken served with rice and vegetables; Conejo Estafado, Puerto Rican smothered rabbit; Beef Bulgogi, Korean style beef served with noodles and stir fried vegetables; and Senfrust Braten, pan seared pork chops finished with a mustard cream, served with a vegetarian cabbage roll.

The final portion, dessert, includes a number of daily specials prepared by the students. Apple and Cherry Strudels, and Cream Puffs will be available every day.

Reservations are being accepted now. The cost of each meal is $20 per person. The Culinary Arts Showcase will be open Thursdays and Fridays, from March 20 to May 10. Reservation times are at 5:30, 6, 6:30, and 7 p.m. It will be closed for Good Friday. To make a reservation, call 618-437-5321, Ext. 1714.

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