High Tea: Culinary’s Spring-Palated Senior Dinner

The Culinary High Tea Dinner - Photo Credits to Massimo Ragonese
The Culinary High Tea Dinner – Photo Credits to Massimo Ragonese
High Tea’s Dining Area – Photo Credits to Massimo Ragonese

On Apr. 27, the Culinary department’s dining room was transformed into the setting of Jay and Roxanne’s Senior Dinner. The theme, High Tea, was meant to reflect 18th-century coffee and teahouses, focusing on sweeter portions and elevated hot drinks.

Chef Zach Lorber, State High Culinary Instructor, began the concept of a “Senior Dinner” in the 2022 school year and plans to continue it further.

“[Senior Dinners] are a nice capstone project for the seniors,” Lorber said. “It’s to showcase what they’ve learned over their two to four years with me and what they are really interested in. Jay and Roxanne chose High Tea, which is their thing. The thought process is that if they do something they are interested in, they will invest more time and energy into it.”

There have been 11 Senior Dinners in the 2023-2024 school year, beginning with the theme of Oktoberfest and ranging to other cuisines such as Jamaican, Irish, and Mediterranean.

The Culinary Program contains four years of coursework, from Culinary 1 to 4. Roxanne and Jay are currently at Culinary 4, the highest level. Their decisions for joining the program vary slightly, from previous interest in cooking to developing it as they have progressed.

The High Tea stands alone compared to the other Senior Dinners. While other dinners took place after school, the High Tea dinner took place as a weekend lunch. Junior Roxanne attributes the decision to do “High Tea” to a more abstract perspective.

“It wasn’t a specific dish,” Roxanne said. “It was more the flavor palate. I wanted light flavors and, as we are rolling into spring, I wanted it to feel like it.”

The Senior Dinner menu stayed true to that: light, spring-oriented flavors. It was split into two sections: Sweet and Savory.

Their sweet section comprised Lemon and Lime Bars, Cheesecake, Macaron Parfait, White Chocolate and Chai Truffles, Cherry Cordials, and Madeleines.

Their savory section comprised of Chicken Salad Croissants, Egg Salad on Rye Bread, Ham and Spinach Puffs, Tomato Soup, and Scones paired with Butter and Pepper Relish.

The Culinary senior dinners will continue into the 2024-2025 school year with notable inclusions, such as Spanish, Italian, and Japanese dinners.

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