UT’s Ready for the World Café Journeys to Liberia for April 10 Luncheon

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Ready for the WorldKNOXVILLE—The Ready for the World Café will take a culinary journey to the Dark Continent Tuesday, April 10, with a Liberian menu boasting of rich tradition and culture as old as Africa itself.

The Ready for the World Café, which is sponsored by US Foods, operates from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the UT Visitors Center, 2712 Neyland Drive. Each luncheon will consist of intermezzo, or small appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert. Advance tickets will be sold for each of the ten luncheons, and capacity is fifty to sixty diners. Cost is $12, and the faculty-staff discount applies. For tickets, see Marcia in 110 Jessie Harris Building or call 865-974-6645.

The Liberian luncheon menu is:

Drink: Ginger beer. A traditional drink served in Liberia. This non-alcoholic beverage is mixed with just the right blend of fresh pineapples, ginger root, and spices. It is a refreshing drink that is packed with nutrients and never short on flavor.

Appetizer: Fried plantains. Plantains are a fruit produced in abundance in Liberia. Sometimes sweet and sometimes savory, they are always rich with flavor. The plantains are sliced, fried, and served aside a sweet tomato salsa.

Soup: Eddo soup. A hearty and yet delicate soup made from the starchy eddo root seasoned with onions, garlic, and sweet peppers. The eddo root, also known as taro root, has a light crumbly texture with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.

Entrée: Stir-fried chicken and greens served with a side of rice. This dish has so many complex layers that it will leave the diner in awe of its simplicity and amazed at the bold combinations that define so many beloved favorites in African cuisine.

Dessert: Papaya pie. This traditional Liberian favorite is a classic fruit pie made with a spiced green papaya filling, topped with sweet mango whipped cream.

Luncheon dates and themes for the remainder of the semester are:

  • Tuesday, April 17—Persia
  • Thursday, April 26—Germany

The Ready for the World luncheons are produced through collaboration of HRT 445 (the Advanced Food Production and Service Management class), the UT Culinary Institute and Pellissippi Culinary Institute.

Students enrolled in HRT 445—taught by Clinical Assistant Professor Donetta Poisson—will work as general managers, dining room attendants, assistant kitchen managers, dining room managers, and dining room service employees. They will be responsible for the execution of the dining experience, managing staff, help in menu planning, preparation, participate in cooking, quantification, cost analysis, service during meal time, marketing of the event, and customer satisfaction activities.

Kelly Freeman

Kelly Freeman

This week’s student café manager is Kelly Freeman of Jackson, Tennessee, a junior in HRT. In the future, she wants to open a restaurant or catering company.

Assisting Freeman is guest chef Hawa Johnson. Johnson is lead chef at Palavah Hut, a Liberian restaurant in Knoxville.

Pellissippi State Community College Culinary Institute students do most of the food preparation. This week’s kitchen managers are James Lomax and Isaac Neil.

“I am very passionate about food and culinary arts,” Lomax said. “I have learned to work with a team and enjoy it. I want to focus on my catering business G&F Culinary Services when I graduate.”

Neil said that cooking is very exciting to him, and he cannot wait to use his talents professionally.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-771-9127, ablakely@utk.edu)

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