Ryan Brooks, owner of Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q, is one such mentor, and a member of the event’s advisory board, Cloughly said.
“He is a perfect example of a local entrepreneur who has been really successful,” she said.
Brooks said this is his second year involved with the event which, he said, he has loved being a part of. His students, Stanley and Priscilla, recently visited him at Brooks’ to decide which items they would prepare for the dinner.
So what made the final cut? Brooks’ specialties: Barbeque chicken, ribs, pulled pork, chicken spiedies, sirloin tips in garlic teriyaki sauce and the restaurant’s “famous” coleslaw, Brooks said.
The project and event will help the culinary students learn even more about food preparation, Brooks said, and will also help them see how businesses can work together to provide a “really nice social event” for the community.
“It’s one of the finest events I’ve been to,” Brooks said.
Cloughly said Jim Perillo, executive chef at the Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown is another mentor, as are chefs from Albany-area restaurants and numerous SUNY Cobleskill alumni.
Tickets for the event cost $50 per person, Cloughly said, and can be purchased at the door.
More than anything, Cloughly said, the event serves as an important real-life experience for the culinary arts students.
“They love working with the local chefs,” Cloughly said. “In other years, some have even gotten job offers after the event! They have a great time with it.”