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Charles Drabkin and Culinary Arts students prepare for fancy feasts


April 25, 2013

Charles Drabkinwill be preparing dinner for the Edmonds Community College Foundation's Remy Wine Dinner on May 17.

Edmonds Community College instructor Charles Drabkin masterfully prepares feasts for large crowds. But he couldn’t pull it off without help from his Culinary Arts students.

Drabkin, who marks his 12th year at the college this September, will oversee the Edmonds CC Foundation’s Remy Wine Dinner on May 17 at Brier Hall’s College Café.

The event is for those who bid on the package in February during the Foundation’s annual auction, which raised more than $230,000 in support of Edmonds CC.

Drabkin and Culinary Arts students prepared the meal at that event as well, which was created by chef Thierry Rautureau, Chef in the Hat™.

The May 17 dinner — tickets are still available through the Foundation — will include wine from Remy Wines in McMinnville, Ore., which just so happens to be owned by Drabkin’s sister, Remy Drabkin.

Charles and Remy grew up in McMinnville. “Remy wanted to be winemaker since she was very young,” Drabkin said. “Five or six years ago, she started making wine commercially and not just in her laundry room.”

Remy Drabkin will be at the Foundation event on campus, but the night before she will host another dinner at her winery to also benefit the Foundation. “She’s comitted to this school even though she’s down in Oregon,” her brother said.

Drabkin will be back in Oregon July 26-28 for the 27th annual International Pinot Noir Celebration at Linfield College in McMinnville.

Edmonds CC Culinary Arts students have been a big part of the event for years, preparing desserts for the popular salmon bake, which at $175 per person has already sold out.

Each year, Drabkin takes eight students or alumni with him.

“The salmon bake is the fanciest event of the weekend, like the fanciest barbecue you’ve ever been to,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.” But it’s work, too.”

The Culinary Arts team prepares dessert for about 1,000 people, creating what Drabkin calls about “10,000 little bites.” They spend three busy days on the desserts, side-by-side with some of the top chefs in the region.

“They get to learn about wine and the winemaking process,” Drabkin says. “And they see how high-end, fancy food can be done on an amazing scale and with amazing quality.”

Edmonds Community College | edcc.edu/about

Established in 1967, the college strengthens our diverse community by helping students access educational and career opportunities in a supportive environment that encourages success, innovation, service, and lifelong learning. It serves more than 20,000 students annually. The college offers 75 associate degrees and 51 professional certificates in 33 programs of study. Its highest enrolled programs are the Associate of Arts/Associate of Science degrees, Paralegal, Allied Health (pre-nursing degree), Business/Accounting, Construction Management, and Culinary Arts programs.

Culinary Arts at Edmonds Community College | http://www.edcc.edu/clart

The college’s Culinary Arts program, which graduated its first class in 1987, serves about 60 students annually. Students range in age from 18 to 60 and include recent high school graduates learning the craft as well as industry professionals adding to their knowledge of culinary technique and theory. The training prepares students for positions as cooks, kitchen managers, caterers, bakers and pastry chefs, as well as servers and hosts in the food service industry, and gives them the skills needed to enter management training positions in fine dining, fast food, and institutional food service.


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