Culinard students shine working with Commander’s Palace chef

Nov 26, 2013

Culinard students shine working with Commander’s Palace chef

Chef Antony Osborne, Dean of Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College reports that the Baton Rouge culinary program recently teamed up with world-famous Commander’s Palace in New Orleans for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit.

The event gave Culinard students Joni Eleam and Dwayne Harris the opportunity to work alongside the South’s 2013 James Beard Award winner, Chef Tory McPhail (seen above with Joni and Dwayne).

Commander’s Palace is the famous establishment associated with the superstar chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme.

Chef McPhail and Commander’s Palace were representing Bland Farms, headquartered in Glennville, Georgia. They are the largest grower, packer, and shipper of sweet onions in the United States. Bland Farms represents roughly half of the entire Vidalia® sweet onion volume, and has the largest controlled-environment storage capacity in the industry. Chef McPhail, Chef Roby and our Culinard students, were preparing multiple preparations using the Farms’ Vidalia onions. Some of the delectable treats for participants to sample included Vidalia Onion Cheese Fondue laced with Black Truffle and served with Commander’s Palace signature Garlic Toast and Rich Chocolate Vidalia Onion Truffles with Crushed Pecans.

The PMA-sponsored event helps those in the food industry anticipate change, identify emerging trends and profit from new opportunities. The Fresh Summit offers something for every segment of the produce supply chain and attracted a crowd of more than 20,000 people.

Culinard recently signed a national externship agreement with Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. The intensive program prepares students, like Joni and Dwayne, for careers in restaurants, hotels, resorts, casinos, catering companies, hospitals and more.

The students came back with precious memories and valuable learning experience working alongside some of the industry’s leaders.