Culinary Crafts Fundraiser for Bloom Café
Culinary Arts instructors and students recently planted and tended a “Chocolate Garden” that delighted guests and staff and Paraquad’s Bloom Café. In spite of a snowy forecast, the December 4th fundraising event which featured chocolate inspired desserts brought in over 40 guests and raised $1260 for the cafe’s training programs.
Melissa Maness, culinary instructor, proposed the fundraising event to Bloom. She serves on their advisory board and felt it would be mutually beneficial. Maness frequently seeks opportunities that allow her students to give back to the community using their culinary talents. “I wanted to raise money for the cafe and showcase our students and program,” she said. And what a showcase it was!
Tables teaming with delicious foods created by fellow culinary instructor David Bass were complimented by a chocolate fountain, assorted desserts for dipping, and student crafted chocolate truffles. Chef Bass’ full menu included Sous vide sirloin steak with chimichurri sauce on a crostini, Lamb sliders with feta cheese, red onion, and cumin mayo, smoked salmon mousse on a dill blini, Caprese skewers, goat cheese and leek quesadillas, hard salami roll-ups, Philly wontons, barbequed pork tostadas with Carolina slaw, a veggie tray, and meatballs. Students assisted Bass with some of the food prep and set-up and maintained the buffet throughout the event.
“The students were phenomenal,” said Anna Corbitt, Community Relations and Events Coordinator for Paraquad, “and the food was so good!” Kevin Condon, Director of Development and Marketing agreed saying, “It was all delicious and the students were fantastic representatives of South Tech! We really appreciate your support and your initiative on this event.” The fundraiser was so well received that Corbitt plans to discuss hosting another in 2019 and hopes fairer weather will bring in even more new diners to Bloom.
Bloom Café, which is an enterprise of Paraquad, embraces a mission of helping people with disabilities gain independence through their unique program. Bloom opened with a regular breakfast and lunch menus in March of 2018 and launched their 12 week training program focused on teaching a variety of culinary related skills. Students move from the training to a paid internship at Bloom or another local restaurant and then, with placement assistance from Paraquad, into a job.
The café is open from 7 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Sunday for brunch. Online ordering and curbside delivery are also available. For additional information about Bloom, please contact Chef Joe Wilson, who directs and manages the café at (314) 289-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information, menus, and online ordering options can also be found on their website at https://www.thebloom.cafe/.
To learn more about South Tech’s Culinary Arts program, which is now accepting applications for Fall 2019, visit http://southtechnical.org/programs/.