A CFWI Christmas: Tastes of the holidays for guests, festive learning experience for students

A gingerbread village, 1,000 truffles, and a chocolate sculpture … world-class chef professors at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute are making their lists and checking them twice – with help  from the college’s culinary students – in preparation for a holiday dinner party to remember.

On Saturday December 13, the Canadian Food and Wine Institute will host A CFWI Christmas as part of the College’s popular 2014-2015 Chef Signature Series. The event will include holiday-inspired dishes from the CFWI’s star lineup of chef professors including Michael Olson, Jim McLean, Avi Hollo, Olaf Mertens, Tony De Luca, Peter Storm, Philippe Corbiere, Keith Ellis, Alan Kerr, and Scott Baechler – assisted by the college’s culinary students who gain an applied learning experience along the way.

“The Chef Signature Series is bringing the industry to the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Our culinary students will have the extraordinary opportunity of learning from a multitude of top chefs over the span of the series,” said Craig Youdale, dean of the CFWI. “Our students will not only be exposed to the different styles and personalities of some of the most prominent chefs in Niagara, Canada and the United States; they will have a chance to work with them and get a real taste for the industry.”

With a festive backdrop of the building’s holiday décor and music, guests will enjoy an array of delectable delights from each participating chef professor as well Niagara College beer and wines, specialty Christmas drinks and more.

A CFWI Christmas is the second of five events that make up the CFWI’s 2014-2015 Chef Signature Series. The series showcases the culinary talents of different featured chefs who work alongside the College’s culinary students to bring their signature dishes to event guests at Benchmark – the college’s on-campus teaching restaurant.

The 2014-2015 series kicked off on November 12 with celebrity chef and new member of the CBC television show Dragons’ Den Vikram Vij who brought specially created dishes to event guests. Upcoming events for 2015 include: Niagara Region Chefs on January 10, Ottawa Chefs on January 31, and New York vs. Chicago on 2015.

Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend Chef Signature Series dinners. Each event will be held at 6 p.m. at Benchmark Restaurant, located at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. Tickets are $99 for each event or $399 for the series. For reservations call 905-641-2252 ext. 4619 or email benchmark@niagaracollege.ca

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit www.niagaracollege.ca