Every year, Virginia College Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts students get the chance to shine as they pull out all the stops for the annual Grand Buffet event.
As a part of their final exam, culinary students cater the event. They cook, prepare and plate a variety of innovative dishes for guests. Family, friends and community members are invited to attend as students and instructors celebrate the end of a semester and each student’s hard work in the kitchen.
The event showcases the skills and creativity cultivated through Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College. Many Grand Buffet events are themed and challenge culinary and pastry arts students to think outside the box when designing their dishes.
Several campuses recently held their Grand Buffet events. Dishes ranged from small bites like barbecue corn on the cob and braai-grilled lamb kebab to desserts like chocolate truffles and petit fours. Students even crafted cuisine that highlighted flavors from around the world, including Mediterranean shawarma, Korean bulgogi and kimchi ravioli.
Virginia College in Birmingham celebrated their Grand Buffet event with a Las Vegas theme. Pastry arts students created edible poker chips, playing cards, dice and replicas of famous Las Vegas landmarks.
Virginia College in Savannah prepared a selection of mocktails for their Grand Buffet event and turned their pastries into colorful fruits for their guests to enjoy.
The Grand Buffet events are a hit year after year, both for the students and for the guests who get to sample them. But the events are also an important part of the learning experience.
“The advanced students each invite attendees, including friends and family, which always creates a great energy and many smiles,” says David Pressley, program director at Virginia College in Savannah. “This equates to the student’s final practical grade before entering the externship phase of their certification.”