The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s culinary school will present an eight-station food extravaganza on Saturday, May 31, to raise scholarship money and honor longtime Pittsburgher and Chef Toni Pais of Cafe Zinho in Shadyside.
Culinary instructors have dreamed up novel food stations, and culinary students will assist with prep work and service. Some stations will feature fancy cold plates; at others, chefs will make food to order, allowing guests to watch the chefs in action.
Here are the participating chefs and what they’ll serve:
Chef Art Inzinga: Charcuterie (pates, terrines, antipasto, cheeses).
Chef Shawn Culp: Culinary Olympic Orchard (specialties based on his training for the Culinary Olympics event in Germany).
Chef David Russo: Dumplings of the World (pierogies, dim sum and more).
Chef Richard Panzera: Fruits de Mer (cold seafood station with smoked and poached seafood and seafood salads).
Chef Jeremy Reed: Hecho a Mano Tacos (hand-rolled tacos).
Chef Scott Schmucker: Fusion Appetizers (global flavors).
Chef Randy Russell and Chef Sally Frey: Contemporary Chocolate and Patisserie.
Chef Toni Pais: Roasted Tomato-Garlic Bisque with Dill and a traditional Portuguese Wild Mushroom Migas served with Cafe Zinho cornbread.
There also will be wine and champagne bars and auction items, including dinner for six at Cafe Zinho, artwork, a Disney World park hopper for four, and more. The event will be held in the school’s art gallery, allowing attendees to enjoy student and outside artwork while they eat and mingle.
Mr. Inzinga suggested honoring Mr. Pais at the event because although Mr. Pais is not a formal culinary instructor, "he has been a teacher of those who have worked for him and gone on to own their own restaurants" over the course of his many years as a Pittsburgh-area chef. (The PG's Sally Kalson wrote in March 2013 about how he dealt with Parkinson's disease.)
The Art Institute is hoping to build this into an annual event. All proceeds will go toward student scholarships.
"It’s a wonderful opportunity to come down and interact with the students who will be running our favorite restaurants and hotels" in the future, Mr. Inzinga said.
The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m. May 31. Tickets are $75 ($65 for James Beard Foundation members) and are available here.
Norm Huelsman photo