Jan 20, 2014

"Casablanca – The Dinner" Headlines FVCC Chef's Table Spring Season

The Culinary Institute of Montana’s Chef’s Table will return for its twelfth season January 31. The program enables students to complete their first-year culinary arts internships while showcasing their skills and talents to community members and visitors to the valley.

Patrons who attend Chef’s Table enjoy light hors d’oeuvres followed by a three-course dinner that varies each week.  The meals are comprised of an appetizer, sorbet, main course and a featured dessert accompanied by homemade cookies and chocolate-dipped strawberries.  The students are responsible for the entire presentation including the food and beverage preparation, plating and service.

Patrons are invited inside the 3,224-square-foot instructional kitchen in the college’s Arts and Technology Building where dinner is served.  During the event, instructor and world-trained Chef Howard Karp serves as the evening’s emcee, introducing each course and how it is prepared.  At the program’s conclusion, the students introduce themselves and identify their roles of the evening.

This season, the program will introduce three new themed dinners featuring dishes from around the world.  On February 21, the students will present a Taste of England featuring honey and thyme scones; deconstructed fish and chips; English rolled roast with roasted garden vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy; and English toffee pudding cake.  Then on March 7, guests will experience a Taste of New Orleans featuring hot and spicy lemongrass shrimp; slow-cooked veal grillades with cheesy jalapeno grits; scallop jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, New Orleans-style red beans and rice and shrimp po’ boy sliders; and bread pudding with rum sauce and bananas foster and family-style rice calas with blackberry filling.  On April 25, patrons will enjoy a Taste of the Mediterranean featuring goat cheese and artichoke tart; flounder with marinated cucumber and yogurt sauce; lamb rack with spiced tomato chutney, squash, zucchini and Brussels sprouts; and fennel tart filled with anise cream and candied fennel.

The highlight of the season will be the special presentation “Casablanca – The Dinner” on Saturday, April 12.  This black tie or period attire affair (white dinner jackets, WWII uniforms, 1940s fashion and red fez hats), will take patrons back to 1942 as they enjoy a five-course French and Moroccan-themed dinner and wine to the sounds of early jazz and swing.  Tickets for this event are limited and are $150 each or $1,250 for a table of ten.  As the spring event for the FVCC Foundation’s Festival of Flavors Program, proceeds from “Casablanca – The Dinner” will support scholarships and programs at FVCC.

Chef’s Table will take place every Friday night throughout the spring semester excluding April 4.  Tickets begin at $39 per person.  The February 14 Valentine’s Day and May 9 winemaker dinners will include a cheese course and wine pairings with each course.  Menus can be viewed online at

Reservations are required, and tickets must be purchased in advance.  All ticket sales are final.  Tickets are available for purchase at or by calling 756-3632.