Central Texas College culinary students are once again giving local residents a taste of their talents at the college’s Patio Cafe.

This Friday, students in the college’s culinary/hospitality program will serve a multicourse meal to diners from a menu they developed and cooked themselves.

“I really think this gives (the students) some real-world experience,” said Chef Ramona Lezo, the college’s chief culinary instructor. “If things don’t go as planned, they have to learn how to adjust.”

Each menu is based on a theme, Lezo said. This week’s menu is inspired by Hawaiian cuisine.

Menu items will include entrees such as short ribs, kalua pig, and Mahi-mahi with warm mango salsa. In addition, the diners also can to try vegetable tempura with dipping sauce, ginger carrots, long rice and macaroni potato salad. Dessert will includes haupia squares and Hawaiian rice pudding.

The college’s culinary arts/hospitality program offers an associate degree in four areas of specialization: restaurant and culinary management, food service management, food and beverage management, and hotel management.

CTC also offers a dual-credit program in the same area of study for high school students, which allows them to earn college credit. Like the college’s students, CTC’s dual-credit culinary students also operate their own version of the Patio Café in the fall, Lezo said.

CTC holds its Patio Café every two weeks. This week, CTC’s Patio Café will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the CTC Student Center.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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