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students and faculty serve lunch for 2016 Garden Club Tour

Patrick Henry Community College’s (PHCC) faculty and students are playing significant roles throughout this year’s Garden Club Tour when it visits the Martinsville area on Wednesday, April 27. Members of the Garden Club of Virginia have celebrated Historic Garden Week in the area with tours of gardens and yards since 1933.

Chef Bob Koester and several culinary students are catering the luncheon for approximately two hundred guests at Historic John D. Bassett Event Center. The menu and dining experience Koester and his students have crafted are designed to be engaging and nostalgic.

“The experience is going to be a unique part of the tour and incredibly interactive,” explains Koester. “The meal will be prepared in front of the guests as they meander between different stations to watch the preparation.”

The dishes are inspired by recipes published in the “Best of Taste” by the Bassett Garden Club in 1950 and 1959. “They’ve got recipes from Mrs. Bassett, Mrs. Stanley, and other notable names,” says Koester.  “Looking through these cookbooks and seeing how cooking has changed over 50-plus years is so fascinating.”

Recipes include: a pan-seared chicken breast with spiced apple/pear compote, oven roasted herbed artisan potatoes, and a sautéed vegetable medley.  The lunch is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Historic John D. Bassett Event Center on Wednesday, April 27. The cost is $12 per plate.

Culinary Arts Instructor Colleen Bukter and her students are providing some of the hors d'oeuvres being served at the wine and spirit tasting at the Historic Bassett Train Depot from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Also on that day, John Ayers, PHCC Viticulture/Horticulture Department Chair, leads two presentations at the Hamlet Vineyard at 11 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. He is discussing how the vineyards were established and what factors influence successful vineyard establishments, varieties, rootstocks, training, and cultural practices.

For more information on the event, visit: www.vagardenweek.org.

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