Ethnic cuisine caters to taco lovers

By Jessica Suico, Advocate Staff

The culinary arts department served chicken, steak and fish tacos during a Taco Tuesday event in the Aqua Terra Grill from 4-7 p.m. on Sept. 12.

Patrons enjoyed four tacos for $5 or $1.50 each, and a choice to have homemade horchata on the side.

“My friend Jasmine Vargas, who is a culinary arts/business major, and I planned this event for our department,” La Raza studies/culinary arts major Nelly Viaduri said. “The purpose of the event is to raise money for the scholarship that help takes culinary students to Italy.”

When the doors opened at 4 p.m. there were already a family and faculty members waiting to eat. Most dishes were ordered to go, but a few people stayed and enjoyed the presentation in the dining room.

Undecided major Kenia Lacayo said, “These tacos are delicious, no doubt. This event is a great idea because it’s affordable, delicious and helps the culinary arts department.”

The first couple hours of the event were kind of slow, however everyone in the culinary arts program that was part of the event kept a happy, welcoming vibe.

“We want to periodically hold events like this, but I can’t commit to every Tuesday because I have classes to teach,” culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes said. “The students go to Italy every summer in June. About 10 students go every year.”

“It costs about $10,000 for the students to go to Italy, but the experience is priceless,” he said.

The study abroad program sends a group of CCC culinary arts students go to Italy. The students visit culinary schools abroad and learn from instructors at those institutions.

All costs associated with the trip are covered by the culinary scholarship program.

“Absolutely we should have more events because they’re affordable. You can really see the amazing training and support our culinary department goes through.” Lacayo said.

Culinary arts major, and cook during the event, Melanie Ruben said, “The people are what make me happy about being a part of this event and department.