Railroad Street Youth Project culinary program to wrap with five-course dinner

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GREAT BARRINGTON — It's rare that the final exam for any college-level course is edible.

But on Monday, the students in the Culinary Arts Apprenticeship Program, sponsored by the Railroad Street Youth Project, will prepare a five-course dinner at 5:30 p.m. at Crissy Farms on Route 7.

The dinner will be the culmination of an eight-week apprenticeship program sponsored by RSYP, according to Ananda Timpane, the organization's executive director. The culinary program is now in its ninth year, she said.

The chefs participating include Dan Smith from John Andrews Restaurant, the Red Lion Inn's Brian Alberg, Alium's Daire Rooney, the Williams Inn's Adam Brassard and Firefly's Zee Vassos.

The evening will also include a certificate program to honor this semester's students and raffles to benefit RSYP.

Anywhere from six to 10 students participate in the classes per semester, Smith said. There are two courses annually, he said.

The aim, according to event co-chairwoman Hayley Sumner, is to expose the students to various aspects of the restaurant business.

"I'm not sure it can be called a feeder program, exactly," Smith said of the program. "What it does is gives kids a sense of how the business works."

Timpane explained that many graduates of the program have gone on to work in restaurant. Smith, for example, now employs two alumni of the program: Patrick Lacey has been at John Andrews for four years, and is now the sous chef there, while Kayla Zigmund is now the dining room manager.

Zigmund, for example, was enrolled in the program but discovered she wasn't interested in the cooking aspect.

"But," said Smith, "she has been amazing as dining room manager."

Tickets are $125 per person.

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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