EUGENE, Ore. - Imagine a warm summer night in a garden transformed into an outdoor dining area by Lane Community College students from programs as diverse as hospitality management, welding and diesel, with handcrafted dining tables made by construction technology students. Then picture yourself indulging in a meal prepared with organic produce from Lane's student-run Learning Garden, infused with Ninkasi beer, prepared by Lane's award-winning culinary students, and served by hospitality students, all under the professional guidance of conference center staff.
It can all be yours at the inaugural "Al Fresco! Beer and Bounty" dinner at the Lane Community College Learning Garden on Wednesday, August 20. The dinner, a hands-on learning opportunity for students, is a fundraiser for the Learning Garden and for technology upgrades for the Center for Meeting and Learning.
Guests will be invited to visit beer and food pairing tasting stations throughout the garden, prepared by culinary students collaborating with Ninkasi brewers to create delectable pairings. There will be live music with guitarist Will Brown, a silent auction from 4:30-6 p.m., and a meal served family style from 6-8 p.m. with guest Jamie Floyd, founding brewer of Ninkasi Brewing Company, and title sponsor for the fundraiser.
Culinary and hospitality students are organizing the event from marketing to food prep, and are earning college credit and real-world experience. They have been working with college departments including facilities, sustainability, advanced technology, and the foundation. Construction technology students designed and were involved in building 26 outdoor tables that will be situated under a grand tent in the Learning Garden to accommodate the 226 diners that organizers hope to attract to meet a fundraising goal of $25,000.
The Learning Garden is a student-led project established in 2006. Produce is used in the college culinary program, cafeteria, and at events.
"Al Fresco! Beer and Bounty" is open to the public. Tickets are $75 each and may be purchased online at www.lanecc.edu/center or by calling Paula Westgate at (541) 463-3500. Diners can preview the menu at http://www.lanecc.edu/sites/default/files/center/al_fresco_menu.pdf