Glavlax ... sous-vide ... pappardelle ... huh? I?wasn't quite sure what to make of the menu as I sat down to lunch yesterday. A decidedly "brown-bag" kind of girl, I knew making it through this kind of fine-dining experience would either require a good food dictionary or sharp guessing skills.
I'm talking about Maui Culinary Academy's famed Class Act Restaurant. Besides hard-to-pronounce terms, culinary careers are also on the menu at this student-run restaurant. This living classroom lets budding chefs show off their skills in all areas of food service, with students rotating cooking stations and taking turns serving diners. Yesterday's lunch marked the start of the spring 2010 season, which will take diners around the world - gastronomically speaking - throughout the semester, with themed meals influenced by France, Spain, Latin America and Italy.
The lunch was a four-course feast featuring a pre-set appetizer of pastrami-cured salmon, roasted beet salad and entree selections ranging from grilled boneless pork chops to short ribs with creamy polenta. Finishing things off was the apple tart tatin and riesling gelato. Besides the jaw-dropping creations that tasted just as divine as they looked, foodies on a budget will appreciate the $30 price tag.
Teri Freitas Gorman, Clyde Sakamoto and Tiffany Iida
If it weren't for the Maui Culinary Academy logos everywhere, I'd never guess this was all coming from culinary masters in training. By the taste of it, there might just be the next Roy Yamaguchi or Alan Wong tucked away in the kitchen.
Lunch is served Wednesdays and Fridays upstairs at Maui Community College's Pa'ina Building. Reservations are highly recommended by calling 984-3280.