Terrace, BC—Coast Mountain College’s (CMTN) culinary department hosted two fine dining evening events in Terrace on November 24 and 25 for the Ksan Society to give back to the community. Approximately 50 patrons invited by the Ksan Society gathered at the Waap Haawk Cafeteria over two nights for an extravagant four-course meal planned and prepared by professional cook students as part of their curriculum.
“This is an important night because it gives the students a sense of pride to do something good for Terrace… where they are uplifting people who are left out at times,” says CMTN instructor and coordinator Chef Darlene Godfrey.
“It also gives them an educational experience by serving actual guests so students can learn how to work in a real restaurant setting like this.”
The event was filled with lots of excitement and delight as guests were taken aback by the extra effort CMTN students took to make the evening a memorable one. Napkins were shaped into roses on plates, candles were lit and students scurried in the kitchen to create masterpieces out of food for those who may struggle to afford a nice meal out.
“It’s been a very fun and festive night, everyone was so moved by seeing the amount of effort put in for us. We often associate these kinds of dinners for people with big pocket books so it’s nice for everyone to get dressed-up and feel celebrated,” says Ev Bishop, assistant coordinator for the Ksan food share program.
The four-course menu featured deluxe plates that guests could choose from. Choices included a honey glazed wild sockeye salmon filet, a roast pork loin, stuffed mushrooms, honey caramel cheesecake, chocolate mousse and other delicious items sourced from local ingredients.
For guests Gordon Rachel and his mother Lena Penner, the event surpassed all their expectations.
“We usually go to the food bank every Friday so they know us at Ksan, and when we received the invite to come up out to the College for this, we were blown away,” says Rachel.
“It’s very relaxing and cozy here, we’re just so thankful to experience this during the holiday season.”
For the duration of the semester, the culinary students have been preparing soups and sandwiches that are delivered to the Ksan Society once a month but had missed seeing people’s reactions to their dishes due to pandemic precautions.
It wasn’t until this event that students had the opportunity to create an entire menu and hear feedback from their guests.
“It’s been so encouraging to hear how much everyone loves our food. This event has also given us the creativity to get our plating skills right for every possible dish…. it feels like we’re a real kitchen staff in a real kitchen,” says Mathew Pigeon, a student in the professional cook level II program at CMTN.
“Food brings people from all different background together to one place to connect us with our communities. It’s so wonderful to build those relationships through events like this.”
Coast Mountain College will be hosting four more fine dining nights for Ksan Society come January 2022.