Henry Ford College Celebrates 50 Years of The Hospitality Program

HFC letters at the “Chef’s Dinner” celebrating 50 years of the Henry Ford College Hospitality program. Photo by Katherine Warden.

HFC letters at the “Chef’s Dinner” celebrating 50 years of the Henry Ford College Hospitality program. Photo by Katherine Warden.

On April 15, Henry Ford College’s Hospitality program celebrated its fiftieth year with a seven course chef’s dinner. The event took place in the Student and Culinary Arts Center pavilion.

A portion of the price of admission for the event went to scholarship funds for students within the hospitality program. In attendance were local supporters of Henry Ford College, staff, professors, and distinguished guests such as former HFC President Dr. Stan Jensen, current HFC President Russell Kavalhuna, HFC Trustee Roxanne McDonald, and many others.

The event was catered by the students of the culinary department, utilizing the kitchens in the campus restaurant, Fifty-One-O-One. The meal was prepared under the watchful eyes of Chef De Cuisine Joseph Cosenza and Chef De Cuisine Jeffery Click. The front of house student servers were overseen by HFC culinary staff Lauren Wallace and Valencia Purry. This chef’s dinner is one of two scholarship dinners held annually.

The event began with a speech from Chef de Cuisine Click. Accompanying his speech was a video with students, staff, and professors talking on what the hospitality program had meant to them as well as showing images and footage of the history of the program.

The microphone was then passed to President Kavalhuna, who acknowledged Board of Trustees, Patrick Deroser and Roxanne McDonald. Kavalhuna then spoke on the school’s vast diversity and what a benefit it is. Kavalhuna announced that last month the college made the decision to rename the Student and Culinary Arts Center after John McDonald, a long-time HFC English faculty member and President of AFT Local 1650, who had passed away at the end of Dec. 2021. The Student and Culinary Arts Center will now be known as the John McDonald Student and Culinary Arts Center, one of the first buildings to be renamed in Kavalhuna’s time as President of the College.

The chef’s dinner consisted of five courses. The opening course was Artichokes En Vierge, with tender sunchokes, crosnes, Meyer lemon, and Castelvetrano olives. The next course was Saucisson À L’ail, a rich French pork sausage, served with cornichon, compressed stone fruit, pearl onions, and dijon. This was followed by Sautéed Halibut, served on top of a spring succotash, and plated with a rue-scented onion glace. The final savory course was a Braised Breast of Veal served on a bed of polenta, accompanied by glazed vegetables, and sweet garlic.

There was a brief pause in the progression of the meal where the musical director Kevin Dewey entered with Henry Ford College’s Big Band, which has been performing for over four decades and has performed all over the globe. As the band began to play, the final course was served, which was a take on the Banana Split, consisting of poached banana ice cream, white chocolate banana crepes, chocolate sauce stripes on the plate, and served with a Maraschino cherry.

After dessert, Dewey paused the band and announced that within the last twelve months over $40,000 had been given in scholarships to hospitality students.

For information on the hospitality program visit: hfcc.edu/academics/programs/culinary-arts.