Chris Dupont Kicks Off Quarterly Guest Chef Dinner Series Hosted by Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College

Nov 1, 2010

Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College's Birmingham, Alabama, location will institute a series of guest chef dinners starting Thursday, Nov. 11th with Chris Dupont, executive chef and owner of Café Dupont. The evening will feature a four-course meal and wine pairings from International Wines, and will conclude with specialty coffee and petit fours.

"We are pleased to re-introduce the Culinard Guest Chef Dinner Series, which gives us the opportunity to reach out to the Birmingham community and give our students experience with well-known professional chefs," says Chef Antony Osborne, Academic Dean of Culinard. "Because of Chef Dupont's commitment to Culinard and his impact on the local culinary scene, he is the perfect guest chef to kick off our special series."

What: Culinard Guest Chef Dinner With Chris Dupont
Where: Century Restaurant & Bar located in the Tutwiler Hotel (2021 Park Pl)
When: Thursday, Nov. 11th -- Reservations starting at 7:00 p.m.
Cost: $80 per person plus tax and gratuities
Reservations: Contact Christina Lewis at 205.314.3456 or

Dinner will be served at Century Restaurant & Bar, which is operated by Culinard. Several seating times are available starting at 7:00 p.m., but reservations are required. To make a reservation, contact Christina Lewis at 205.314.3456 or The cost of dinner is $80 per person plus tax and gratuities. The price is inclusive of a four-course meal and wine parings. The menu, developed by Chef Dupont, features:

  • First Course - Okra and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
  • Second Course - Baby Organic Romaine Lettuce with Duck Confit, Shaved Red Hill Cheddar, Soft Farm Egg & Garlic Dressing
  • Third Course - Butter Poached Halibut with Fennel, Field Peas, Sugar Beets and Farro
  • Fourth Course
  • -Vieux Pontalier Chocolate Ginger Bread Cake with Rum Raisin Ice Cream & Raspberry Red Wine Compote

This marks the first guest chef series hosted by Culinard since the opening of its new, state-of-the-art campus at The Palisades Shopping Center and Century Restaurant & Bar at the Tutwiler. Former guest chefs included local icons Chris Hastings, Frank Stitt and George Reis in addition to out-of-town chefs from the legendary Commander's Palace in New Orleans, the Greenbriar Luxury Resort and the Dallas Four Seasons.

About Chris Dupont
Chris Dupont grew up in New Orleans, a city known for creating noteworthy chefs. He began developing his craft in restaurants when he was just 15, taking time away from the kitchen to attend college on a tennis scholarship. Chef Dupont returned to restaurants after college, first at The Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, then at a series of fine dining establishments in New Orleans. He returned to Alabama in the early '90s, opening the original Cafe Dupont in Springville. There, he began to refine his style of seasonal flavors inspired by the region's bounty of homegrown products. In 2003, Chef Dupont relocated the restaurant to its current location in the historic North End of Birmingham.

About Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College
Founded over 10 years ago, Culinard has evolved into a fast, intense, 36-week immersion program that accommodates students who wish to quickly obtain a culinary career. All Culinard students are placed in a professional culinary externship and are provided with career placement assistance for life. Graduates of Culinard have accepted jobs in the finest kitchens throughout the country.

Culinard operates three Culinard Cafes in Birmingham, located at The Palisades, Innovation Depot and the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. The school also operates Century Restaurant & Bar in the Tutwiler Hotel and Culinard Special Events catering. These retail operations allow Culinard students to gain valuable real-world experience, preparing them for a variety of successful culinary careers.

Culinard's success in Birmingham has led to the expansion of the culinary education program at Virginia College campuses in Mobile, Ala., Jacksonville, Fla. and Richmond, Va. Additional Culinard programs are also in the works at existing and proposed Virginia College locations.