Banquet bolsters funds, cheers for holidays

Midday feast offers bountiful helpings to hungry attendees


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Berkeley resident Daryle Corr fills her plate during the Thanksgiving Banquet in the Three Seasons Restaurant on Nov. 25.

By Cody Casares, Photo Editor

Culinary arts department and Chairperson Nader Sharkes bustled around the kitchen weaving through culinary students, preparing for the hankering line of ravenous patrons waiting to get in the doors. 

“Make sure to smile,” Sharkes said, “We’ll be busy.”

The Three Seasons Restaurant hosted a Thanksgiving Banquet on Nov 25. The event began at 11 a.m. and by 11:30 tables were filled with families and friends who were feasting on the bountiful feast prepared for them by the culinary department students.

Residents from around the East Bay traveled to Contra Costa College to get their share of food.

Berkeley resident Daryle Corr said, “I’ve been coming here for 18 years. It’s one of my favorite places to eat.”

The event raised over $1,000, Sharkes said, with 120 patrons filling their bellies with the Thanksgiving feast. All the money raised during the banquet will go back into the department and pay for the materials needed to continue to host events like this one.

“It’s always a mad house,” he said. ”We don’t have a budget so everything is paid for by the department. The students did outstanding work.”

Patrons were greeted at the door and charged $10 for a plate. From there they could stroll down the line of food trays filled with turkey, chili, buttermilk and sour cream cornbread, spinach and feta cheese stuffed chicken breast, roasted acorn squash, pastel de lengua, caramelized onion stuffing, braised greens with turkey bacon, chorizo and date stuffing and Puerto Rican pork shoulder.

The event was served buffet style leaving the opportunity for seconds or even thirds.

Middle College High School English teacher Myriam Godfrey said, “For the price of $10, it’s incredibly worth it. The squash, corn bread and flan were really good.”

Dessert was another obstacle for patrons to tackle with chocolate raspberry bombs, cheesecake, chocolate decadence, flan, butter cookies and brownies, lemon squares, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and lemon raspberry parfait. 

El Cerrito resident Chis Silvia said he came to pick up a special order that he called in and decided to stay when she saw the spread of food being presented.

“I liked everything,” she said, “the corn bread dressing and stuffed dates were really good.”

The Three Seasons Restaurant is hosting a Christmas Banquet that began Tuesday and continues today. The charge is $10 and it is being served in a similar style to the Thanksgiving Banquet but with a new spread of grub.

Sharkes said the Christmas Banquet provides a wider selection of food with it being celebrated throughout the world and Thanksgiving being localized to the United States.

“The Christmas Banquet provides more of a choice for food. With Thanksgiving you’re limited to turkey and other Thanksgiving- themed food. Christmas is more fun.” Sharkes said.

Some of the entrees that will be served are pork tenderloin stuffed with mushrooms, chorizo with cheese fondue, leg of lamb and truffled macaroni and cheese.