Carteret Community College will celebrate its French foreign-exchange program during the Escoffier dinner series in January, February and March at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.

The Escoffier dinner series started Jan. 21 and features students who participated in the Goellner Hospitality and Culinary Arts French Exchange Program and four local chefs noted for their fine cuisine.

Each year, three to four CCC students are selected to travel to France in the fall to work with chefs and learn new international culinary and hospitality arts skills.

The students are housed by the French chefs and work at their places of business during the internship.

As a part of the exchange program, the students agree to participate in the Escoffier dinner series when they return.

The local chefs work with the students when they return to prepare the menus and a four-course meal for each event.

Jonathon McGregor, Marina Brown and Melanie Rasmussen, the 2019 exchange students, were paired with a local chef for this spring’s series.

The featured chefs and the current Culinary and Hospitality Arts students prepare the meals the evening of the event.

“The Escoffier Dinner Series is a great event that features the skills that Carteret Community College exchange students learn during their time in France,” Chef Charles Park, culinary chairman and instructor at CCC, said. “It also encourages current students to work hard and apply for the exchange program, because they see what the graduates learn during the exchange.”

This year, the Escoffier Chefs Dinner Series will showcase the talents of Floyd Olmstead of Floyd’s 1921, who served up the Jan. 21 meal; Anthony Garnett of Blue Ocean Market, assisting with the Tuesday, Feb. 25 meal; and Chef Park of Beaufort Grocery Co. and Chef James Clarkson of CCC Tuesday, March 24.

Chefs Garnett, Olmstead and Park were inducted into the International Order of the Disciples of Escoffier in 2011 during a cultural exchange program sponsored by the Beaufort Sister Cities organization that helped bring a delegation of French chefs to Carteret County from the Beaufort Nord region in France. Chef Clarkson was inducted in April 2017.

The order is the largest worldwide organization of chefs. The International Order of the Disciples of Escoffier has more than 12,000 participants in 15 countries, including America, Japan, Russia, China and France.

The Disciples of Escoffier promote and preserve the work of the late Auguste Escoffier, a master of French and international cuisine.

Disciples work to maintain Escoffier’s great culinary traditions, especially as they pertain to the education and professional training for chefs and apprentices, the traditional path taken by 80% of starred chefs.

Members also organize culinary events worthy of these traditions that honor people and celebrate French haute cuisine.

Tickets for the Escoffier dinner series are currently on sale and can be purchased at carteret.edu/foundation-build/events or by calling 252-222-6268.

Ticket sales support the cost for the students who are selected to participate in the foreign exchange program.

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