Burnaby's original Rotary Club is hosting a cosmopolitan evening of culinary delight in May, featuring dishes from around the world. Club members have pulled recipes from their homelands, and students in Burnaby Central Secondary's ACE-IT culinary arts program will prepare the dishes.
"Every member, I've asked them to come up with dishes they would like to highlight for that show," said Augustus Cruickshank, public relations chair for the Rotary Club of Burnaby. "Rotary preaches multiculturalism and peace, . so I think it's great for the community, and the young people will be working along with Rotary."
There will be stations for each type of cuisine - Caribbean, African, Indian, Chinese, Ukrainian and Greek - and each station will have a few samples.
The Caribbean section will have non-alcoholic ginger beer, callaloo soup and Jamaican jerk chicken, for example, and the Greek dishes will be spinach pie, tzatziki and beef stifado.
Due to health regulations, the Rotarians can't prepare the food offsite and bring it, so they are using the opportunity to work with the students to highlight Burnaby Central's cooking program. The students will be preparing the dishes under the supervision of the Rotarians, who are bringing their own recipes. The ACE-IT culinary arts program has 20 students, working towards credits for their high school graduation and the chance to get their level one trade certification for cooks' training. They work every day in the school's state-of-the-art kitchen, from 1: 30 to 7: 30 p.m., preparing food for banquets and outside catering clients. The school also runs a public restaurant out of one of the classrooms on Tuesday nights.
Chef Stephen Wade, who oversees the culinary arts program, thinks the Rotary event will be great.
"It's all about different cultures and understanding cultures," he said. "(The students) get to talk to people, they get to work with people they haven't worked with before, get to speak with someone who is older than them."
Students will also help sell tickets for the May 4 event. The evening will mostly be people milling about, with food samples and entertainment. "You'll have over 20 dishes to sample, each country is producing about four dishes," Cruickshank said. "I think it's going to be very interesting."
The event is on Saturday, May 4 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $35, and proceeds go to Rotary. The Rotary Club of Burnaby is one of three local Rotary clubs and has 42 members, mostly people in the business community. For more information, go to www.rotaryburnaby.org. For tickets, call Cruickshank at 604-916-3077.