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Drexel Culinary Students Visit Farm and Market to Create Five-Course Dinner for Le Bec Fin

Culinary students work in the test kitchen

PHILADELPHIA 5/6/2013 3:52:00 PM

Philadelphia’s legendary French restaurant Le Bec Fin has opened its kitchen to culinary students from Drexel University’s Goodwin College of Professional Studies to create a five-course menu, which they will serve at a special collaborative dinner on Tuesday, May 14.

"Drexel has a long working relationship with Le Bec Fin, varying from a scholarship to internships," said Le Bec Fin Chef de Cuisine Steven Eckerd.

"I'm thrilled to continue Le Bec Fin's tradition of supporting the education of the next generation of culinary greats through this collaboration. It is inspiring to team up with Drexel again and to contribute to the future of the Philadelphia food scene." 

On Sunday, May 5, 10 Drexel culinary arts students accompanied Eckerd and Drexel’s culinCulinary students work in the test kitchenary arts program director Dr. Jonathan Deutsch on a foraging field trip to the Headhouse Farmers Market in Society Hill to learn about and select ingredients.

They also met with purveyors, including Tom Culton of Culton Organics in Lancaster, Pa., who sells organic heirloom produce.

The group then traveled to Harleysville, Pa., to visit to Quarry Hill Farm, where they toured the barn, gardens and market at the scenic, 100-acre farm, which includes pasture-fed sheep, chickens, lamb, guinea hens, rabbits, fish, suckling pigs and turkeys. The group later enjoyed lunch on the porch overlooking farm vistas. 

On Tuesday, May 7, the students and Chef Eckerd worked in the test kitchen in Drexel’s Academic Bistro to develop their menu with the ingredients they selected from the market and the farm.

Their final menu will be served at a special collaborative dinner event at Le Bec Fin oCulinary students work in the test kitchenn Tuesday, May 14. The menu is as follows:

Prepared by Drexel Culinary Professors

First Course
Halibut Chowder, Baby Artichoke, Diver Scallop Terrine, Oursins, House Smoked Bacon, Petit Pois, Sourdough Tuile

Second Course
Hudson Valley Foie Gras Almond Profiterole, Strawberry Consomme, Tarragon Chip, Diakon Radish Crema

Third Course
Broiled Amberjack, Fricassee of Roasted Porcini, Ramps, and Salisify, Pickled Quail Egg, Black Pepper Camarones Jus

Fourth Course
Trio of Quarry Hill Farm Lamb, Parsnip Puree, Black Olives, Tom Culton Green Asparagus, Fava Beans, Sunhaven Tomato Jam

Fifth Course
Flint Hill Creamery Cheese Tart, Rainier Cherries, Candied Hazelnut, Meyer Lemon Confit, Cindy’s Chinese Chive Oil

Rhubarb Clafoutis, Pedro Jimenez Ice Cream, Overbrook Farm Herbs and FlowersCulinary students work in the test kitchen

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $110 per person ($85 for students) with an optional wine pairing for $55, and can be purchased by calling Le Bec Fin at 215-567-1000. A portion of the proceeds from the evening will benefit the Drexel University Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts Program.

"For decades, Le Bec Fin has been the grandest stage in Philadelphia fine dining and I'm so proud that Chef Eckerd and the Le Bec Fin team had the faith in our students to share this evening with them," said Deutsch.

"Working with the chef and the entire team to shop for ingredients at Headhouse Farmers market, visit Quarry Hill farm, suggest wine pairings and develop and execute the menu is an amazing opportunity for our students and one we're so proud to be able to provide."