On January 26, the talented students of Red Bank Regional (RBR) High School’s Culinary class assumed the responsibilities for cooking, serving and seating restaurant patrons at its third annual Hope is Delicious Dinner fundraiser to benefit the JBJ Soul Kitchen. As in the past two years, the event sold out within hours of its posting.
“We want to be part of the community and what better way to do that than have your local high school come in and cook for us,” stated JBJ Soul Kitchen Manager Lou Morreale.
“And the kids are just amazing,” he adds. “When Chef Peter Roskowinski (the RBR Culinary teacher) brings these kids they are top of the class and do a great job.”
On the menu that evening was a mouthwatering panko crested eggplant pirogue finished with sautéed shrimp in petite diced vegetable cream sauce. A tossed romaine salad dressed with red wine vinaigrette accompanied the main course of braised boneless chicken thighs in a shallot wine sauce with a side dish of Mediterranean style couscous and oven roasted cauliflower. The pièce de résistance was an Italian mascarpone espresso chocolate chip ice box pie.
“We love doing the annual JBJ Soul Kitchen fundraiser, Chef Roskowinski explains, “the people here are great to work with and this is such an incredible opportunity for our kids to work in a restaurant setting, take full control while performing a community service.”
The students also agree with their teacher’s sentiment. Culinary Institute bound senior Victoria Scamardella described it as her favorite cooking assignment in her culinary program adding, “It is a great atmosphere in which to cook with my peers.”
One of her peers, and future fellow Culinary Institute classmate, Derrick Bradley, is grateful for the opportunity to showcase his skills and increase his restaurant experience. He has already landed a job as a Souse chef in a Monmouth county restaurant before departing for New Hyde Park in the fall.
Kaylee Faragasso, who hopes to become a pastry chef, and had her hand in creating the ice box pie adds, “Working in places like the Soul Kitchen is wonderful as I get to show what I can do while doing good things for people.”
For more information on the JBJ Soul Kitchen community restaurant visit their website at http://www.jbjsoulkitchen.org/.