Chef Josh Sutcliff, ShipShape Hospitality Concepts co-creator, guided 12 participants through the preparation of a four-course meal Feb. 4 at El Centro College’s new North Campus. Savory fragrances filled the kitchen as participants toasted sesame seeds and created marinades and sauces. As they sipped wine, they worked to bring together a complete meal.
The chef experience was the third in the “Get Seasoned” continuing education series offered to raise awareness of the new culinary program expansion.
The menu was composed of a local farm salad, a market fish crudo, roasted turnip with nori dressing and a poached chicken.
A team of four participants prepared each course. There is a maximum of 20 participants per event. Working around a stainless-steel station, the ingredients and tools required to prepare each course were laid out for participants. Sutcliff gave attendees a demo for the preparation of each course, then let them loose to finalize their portion of the meal as a team.
The intimate setting allowed attendees to interact with the chef and each other. Participants asked questions specific to their station, such as why Sutcliff removed the bloodline from the Hamachi fish used in the crudo, and general questions such as about the best way to peel garlic.
Throughout the night, Sutcliff bounced from station to station to field questions and provide assistance. Chef Aaron Habbard, continuing education instructional specialist, as well as two El Centro Culinary students, also provided assistance throughout the event.
Sutcliff sprinkled best practices, pro tips and explanations of appliances and tools used throughout the night. “Clean as you go,” Sutcliff said. “Keep it simple. Use a zester on a lemon, not a lemon on a zester.”
Once the salad was tossed, the crudo plated, the vegetables roasted and the chicken poached, the participants enjoyed their creations. At the end of the night, each participant left with a signed commemorative menu, a recipe for each course and first-hand knowledge of how the dishes are prepared.
The chef experiences are the first continuing education program to roll out at the new campus, which is located at 11830 Webb Chapel Road, Suite 1200. Habbard said many more programs will be introduced at this location.
Habbard said El Centro’s expansion to the North Campus is the most innovation-driving thing that has happened in the Dallas culinary scene. “The facility will become a center for professional development, corporate events, date night and kids’ events,” he said.