(Feb. 22, 2019) Less than 40 tickets were still available as of earlier this week for the inaugural Art of the pARTy event, held Friday, Feb. 22, at the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin from 6-9 p.m.
To promote food as a form of art, the Worcester County Arts Council and the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association have teamed up to utilize cuisine as a medium for a new scholarship.
Guests are invited to a business-casual event to sample an assortment of flavors from Worcester Technical High School’s Culinary Program as well as four other high school culinary programs from Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester and Dorchester counties, and Wor-Wic Community College.
“As chefs, we always think of food and pastry as art,” Phil Cropper, chapter president for the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association and culinary instructor at Worcester Technical High School, said. “We started talking to the Worcester County Arts Council about how we could feature food. “They said, ‘Well, we’ve never thought of it as art but it makes sense.’ So, the Worcester County Arts Council decided to add it as a medium for their scholarship application.”
Most arts scholarships in the area do not adequately present cuisine as a form of art, Cropper said.
“When you look in the area scholarships and different places for food other than restaurants, you don’t really see intricately-displayed food,” Cropper said. “So that got us thinking as an organization, ‘Well if the Arts Council’s considering it as an art form so students can apply for scholarships, then why don’t we try to promote the chef’s association.”
Thirteen stations will be set up featuring food from American Culinary Federation-certified restaurants. Established in 1929, American Culinary Federation is the premier professional chefs’ organization in North America with more than 17,500 members in over 150 chapters nationwide.
“The ACF is what makes [someone] a certified executive chef or a pastry chef or a culinary educator,” Cropper said. “So, it’s what keeps chefs moving forward with their education and their learning and their networking.”
Students from Worcester Technical High School, Somerset Culinary, Wor-Wic Community College and Dorchester Career and Technology Center will prepare food onsite.
“All the food stations will be members of the chef’s association,” Cropper said. “The benefit is we have the five stations from the college and the local high schools that are showcasing students. So, students will actually be there working the stations and be prepping the food.
“We’re making it a little competition within the high schools and the college where we’re going to have people vote for their favorite dish throughout just for those schools,” he continued. “Then we’re going to give each one of those programs a small financial token as a thank you that the schools can use for their program.”
American Culinary Federation-certified restaurants and organizations slated to participate in the event include Centerplate of the convention center on 40th Street, Marlin Moon on 33rd Street, Coastal Coffee Roasting in West Ocean City, Princess Royale on 91st Street, Nori on 115th Street and the Handy Seafood Company in Salisbury.
“We’re trying to make it a fun event on a Friday evening after work,” Cropper said. “We’re going to have all of the stations set up for people to come in and mingle, network, enjoy food from different restaurants and then enjoy food from the different schools that they really wouldn’t have access to otherwise.”
Guests will be able to participate in a raffle for a painting donated by a local artist with their ticket purchase.