MCCTC students serve $40 dishes to family and friends

By Amanda Tonoli


The Mahoning County Career and Technical Center’s culinary arts program launched its second annual clambake Friday evening, serving up $40 dishes to family and friends.

The menu included buffet-style New England clam chowder, herb-roasted half chickens, roasted vegetables, warm apple crisp and more.

Culinary arts instructor Matt Putzier said he could feel the nervous energy from students lined up in the kitchen to cook, serve and supervise.

The dinner serves as a soft launch for The Bistro, a student-run full-service restaurant at MCCTC, 7300 N. Palmyra Road, which opens Thursday.

“This introduces them to customer interaction,” he said. “It’s working with people.”

Students were tasked with selling $40 tickets to the dinner. Most customers turned out to be family and friends.

“It kind of eases them into this restaurant atmosphere,” Putzier said.

Student Summer Tedrow said for her first time working in the professional food atmosphere, she likes being able to practice her customer interaction.

Beyond customer interaction, the clambake serves as a fundraiser for students.

Sue Ravotti, MCCTC culinary arts instructor’s aide, said the money raised goes toward competitions students can participate in – which can lead to even more money.

“Those competitions are helpful because students can win scholarship money by placing in them,” she said.

In addition, Putzier said money raised also can go to field trips – something he said is crucial to the entire experience, although field trips are an extracurricular activity.

Overall, customer Joe Virostek said he thinks both the program and the clambake are wonderful things.

“You get good food and it’s just beautiful,” he said. “Anyone who gets a chance should try it.”