The Fran Folsom Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund Dinner is a unique opportunity for culinary arts students at Pikes Peak Community College to participate in every aspect of a formal dining event. It's a fine-dining treat for the guests as well.
In its fifth year, the "Taste the Future" four-course dinner April 14, held this year at Julie Penrose Pavilion in St. Paul Parish, raised a record $30,000 to provide 10 $3,000 scholarships for students in their final year in the college certificate program.
The scholarship is lovingly referred to as "The Fran" for Folsom, who founded the Broadmoor Cooking School, was a food and wine columnist and volunteers with Chef Michael Paradiso, coaching students of the culinary fields. Folsom was toasted at the dinner, and two of the 2017 recipients of "The Fran," Kari Rosenbaum and specialty baker Stephanie Rigsby, told how it had helped them move toward their goals.
The PPCC fields of study are Advanced Baking, Advanced Cuisine and Garde Manger (Keeper of the food), Advanced Line Prep and Cookery, Dining Room Management and Wine and Spirits.
Guided by mentor chefs Brent Beavers and Mario Vasquez, along with faculty, students in all fields were responsible for each step of the gala, including a stiff competition to determine the gourmet dishes on the menu. They prepared the food, designed the table settings, served and washed the dishes. They also learned about the wines paired to each course by Ivars Spons of Sovereignty Wines. Dinner co-chairs were Chuck and Mary Lou Murphy.
The 2018 scholarship recipients named later: Janine Armstead, Sarah Finley Baldwin, Alicia Broussard, Nathan Bruntz, Ashley Buckner, Kevin Coderre, Jennifer Michl, Brenda Thompson, Josalynn Whirl and Brandi Williford.