Culinary students cook to sold-out dining room

PUHI — Students in the Kaua‘i Community College culinary-arts program kicked off the latest fine-dining session, late last month, with a completely sold-out dining room.

Second-year students watched as first-year students worked to finish all the dishes in time for the front of the house to open. It was the first time the 15 first-year students had to “cook on demand.” From the appetizers to desserts, they got it done, all the way down to the parsley garnish. They even shared the dishes they prepared for the student cafeteria next door.

The fine-dining program operates on Tuesday through Thursday, and reservations are recommended.

The menus vary from week to week, and are available for viewing on the school’s Web site, kauai.hawaii.edu.

Call 245-8365 for reservations.

Here, program director Billy Gibson and the students shared one of the most popular recipes from their first week, just in case you’ll be eating in tonight.

Grilled ‘Ahi with Sauce Vierge and Buttered Spinach

7 ounces olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

5 ounce ‘ahi tuna steaks

11/2 pounds cooked spinach, buttered

Sauce Vierge

3 tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded, chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt to taste

Large handful of basil

1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

1 clove garlic

For marinade, combine the olive oil, garlic, basil, chile, salt and pepper. Marinate the tuna for one hour.

Grill the tuna steaks, keeping them medium rare.

For each portion, place 4 ounces of hot spinach on a plate, top with the tuna steak, and drizzle the sauce.

For the Sauce Vierge, warm the olive oil, add the all ingredients. Serve warm.

Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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