By Retta Edling
At the annual Fran Folsom Dinner held last Saturday, the PPCC Foundation raised a record-breaking total of $30,000, beating the previous record of $22,000.
The money funds scholarships for Culinary Arts students in their final year of the certificate program at PPCC.
“My scholarship gave me peace of mind to know that I could pay for child care and finish school,” said Stephanie Rigsby, a 2017 scholarship winner. Rigsby has graduated and currently runs a specialty cakes business from her home.
Lisa James, Executive Director of the Foundation said, “The most important thing about the fundraiser is that it gives students real time experience in fine dining – from the first idea of what to serve through the last dish washed. Students are critical in every step of the process – unlike if they are working in a restaurant and focused on their area only. For both the internal team and the external audience, it is proof of the excellence of a PPCC education.”
The event is named in honor of Colorado Springs’ own Fran Folsom, the founder of the Broadmoor Cooking School. She works with the students through planning and serving an elegant dinner for one hundred people.
Local chefs from the community, faculty and staff also mentor and guide the students through the process.
This year, Chef Brent Beavers of Aspen Pointe Café and Chef Mario Vasquez of Colorado Craft helped the students learn how food critiques work as they submit dishes for consideration to be included in the menu for the event and assisted them in how to prepare and serve the meal.
Chef Beavers explained that they give the students guidance on how to blend courses, what to serve, and what works, but ultimately the students choose the food. Folsom guides the final tasting.
This year’s menu featured hors d’oeuvres, salad, Bass “en Papillot”, Buffalo Medallions and a Trio of Desserts including Brandied Cherry Chocolate Swiss Roll, Lemon Pistachio Cake, and Cashew Phyllo Tartlet.
Each course was carefully paired with wines selected and donated by Ivars Spons of Sovereignty Wines.
Ten scholarships of $3,000 each will be awarded to students over the next two weeks.