Gables High student chefs wow patrons at fundraising dinner gala
Coral Gables Senior High Principal Adolfo Costa was one proud man Monday night, March 18, as he charmed a restaurant full of supporters of his school’s Culinary Arts Academy, one of the elite programs of Miami-Dade Public Schools.
At the school’s third annual Gala Night fundraiser, his students prepared and served a delicious four-course meal and doted over dozens of their guests at The Dome restaurant, 271 Miracle Mile.
Teacher-chef Mercy Vera, the unsung hero, oversaw the undertaking in The Dome’s kitchen, where students created a ceviche appetizer, an organic salad from their very own garden, a chicken roulade entrée and a heavenly chocolate dessert.
It was a wonderful opportunity for students in the culinary arts program to put their skills to work in a real restaurant kitchen, made possible by Rachel Dominguez, owner of The Dome.
Toward the end of the evening Coral Gables Community Foundation Chair Carlos Garcia toasted Chef Vera, her students, Ms. Dominguez and all of the guests for a job well done.
He also presented a check for $10,000 to create a scholarship fund for culinary arts students to pursue their studies beyond graduation from Gables High.
“The foundation’s annual Tour of Kitchens is committed to supporting Chef Vera’s program,” Mr. Garcia said. ”We thought it would take several years to accomplish our goal of creating a scholarship fund for these students, but the small committee and staff did an amazing job in hosting a sell-out kitchen tour in January with a crowd of more than 500 people.”
Joined by instructor colleague Angel Vazquez, Chef Vera was so moved by the success of the evening and support from the community that she was brought to tears as foundation representatives presented her with the $10,000 check.
The Coral Gables Community Foundation, which partners with Gables High on a number of initiatives and programs, hopes to begin awarding culinary arts scholarships as soon as next year.
“We are proud to participate in this way, honoring exceptional hometown students,” said Mr. Garcia. “The foundation currently administers five scholarship funds and other youth-related programs that have provided close to a half-million dollars in support.”
Criteria and applications for current scholarships are available online at gablesfoundation.org. Questions regarding the culinary arts scholarship should be directed to Andria Hanley, executive director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation, who may be reached at 305-446-9670, or [email protected].
Founded by community leaders in 1991, the Coral Gables Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Its mission is to foster programs that enhance the quality of life for people living or working in Coral Gables.