Residents of the Arkansas River Valley who crave fine dining opportunities will find what they are looking for at Arkansas Tech University this month.
A pair of renowned chefs will prepare meals for the general public as part of the 2011 Summer Culinary Institute for Young Women, which will be hosted by the Arkansas Tech Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration June 6-10.
Chef Chrissy Sanderson (photographed, left), a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York and former co-owner of Bordinos in Fayetteville, will lend her talents to a Central Arkansas-themed meal at the Williamson Hall Dining Room on Tuesday, June 7. Tickets for that event will be $25.
Chef Tracy Griffith (photographed, right), the first female graduate of the California Sushi Academy and a member of the American Culinary Federation honor society, will take to the Williamson Hall kitchen on Friday, June 10. Diners can enjoy the meal prepared by Griffith for $50.
Seating will begin at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. both nights.
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Call (479) 968-0378 for more information or to purchase tickets.
In addition to preparing meals for the general public, Sanderson and Griffith will be part of the faculty for the Summer Culinary Institute for Young Women. The week-long educational opportunity is made possible through a grant from the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.
Fifty high school girls from within a 50-mile radius of Russellville will learn techniques passed on by a variety of chefs from around the region.
Other faculty members for the summer culinary institute will include Jillian Ely of the Arkansas Hospitality Association, Jennifer Keaton of Krutons in Springdale, Susan Curtis of Marketplace Grill in Conway, Glenna Howell of Events by Glenna, Michelle Mayer of Custom Cakes Michelle Mayer, Tommie Harms of Oak Tree Bistro, Diane Bratton of Café 1217 and Taco Moma in Hot Springs, Michelle Thompson of Mount Ida, Dr. Sueng Lee of Arkansas Tech University, Faith Anaya of Kids Cook and Ay Magazine and Chef Maudie Schmitt of Café Rue New Orleans in Fayetteville.
Sanderson is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but she has called Arkansas home since 1984. After starting her career as a bartender in Northwest Arkansas, Sanderson learned the restaurant business both in the real world and in the classroom.
She graduated from The Culinary Institute of America and received the school’s Young Professional Medal in 2002.
Sanderson returned to the place where she once tended bar --- Bordinos in Fayetteville --- and ultimately became its chef and co-owner. Her leadership helped the business grow from a 60-seat restaurant to a 175-seat facility with four times as much kitchen space.
Today, Sanderson is a sales consultant for U.S. Foodservice and an adjunct instructor at Northwest Arkansas Community College.
Griffith is as much artist as she is chef. After beginning her career as a model and actress, she has served as a program host on the Do It Yourself (DIY) cable television network, recorded a country music album and presented an art exhibition at a San Francisco gallery. Griffith has appeared in six major motion pictures, including 1999’s “Crazy in Alabama.”
The corporate executive chef for NewGem Foods, Griffith resides in Napa, Calif., New York City and Hong Kong.
She is also an author. Griffith penned the cookbook “Sushi American Style” in 2004.
Griffith will autograph copies of her cookbook during an event at the Russellville Train Depot at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. Copies of the cookbook will be available for $20.
For more information about Tracy Griffith, visit http://www.tracygriffith.com/.]]>