McHenry County College culinary students are currently testing fine dining recipes for Slàinte (pronounced “slawn-cha”), the College’s student-managed restaurant. Slàinte will re-open for the spring semester on Thursday, Feb. 12. Restaurant hours are from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays through April 23.
This season’s theme is classic comfort food with a modern twist such as a napoleon of filet mignon and portabella mushrooms. Dessert will include classic bread pudding, a rotation of flavored crème brulee and a rumchata cannoli. The final menu will be posted to www.mchenry.edu/slainte during opening week.
According to MCC’s culinary management department chair, Tina Drzal, students in McHenry County College’s Culinary Management program learn the skills needed for a range of job opportunities in the food and hospitality fields.
In addition to standard coursework, students gain real-world experience in two forums: Slàinte, which runs during the spring semester, and Sweet Scots Bakery, which runs during the fall semester.
Slàinte is designed to both educate students and delight customers, Drzal said. “Our focus in the program is giving the students the opportunity to see the whole picture,” she said. “They test and cost recipes, maintain inventory, manage and learn the importance of service standards. Upon graduation, they are certified in food safety, safe alcohol service, nutrition, inventory costing and supervisory management.”
Slàinte is a Scottish toast that means “to good health!” which is the philosophy embraced through the restaurant’s emphasis on integrity of food, sustainable ingredients and a delicious diversity of dishes, Drzal noted.
Drzal has been a chef instructor at MCC for six years and created the college’s Baking and Pastry Management degree for the culinary program. She has been a visiting chef for “Christmas at the Dole” and the Galena Chocolate Fest. Her background includes pastry, culinary and restaurant management.
Seating capacity at the student-managed restaurant is 60, and reservations are suggested. The menu is a la carte style with most meals under $15.
The restaurant is located in the MCC Scot Room, Building B, Room 178, behind the cafeteria. The College is located at 8900 U.S. Hwy. 14 in Crystal Lake. For menu details, reservations and more information, visit www.mchenry.edu/slainte. For information about MCC’s Culinary Program, visit www.mchenry.edu/culinary.