Staff photos by Allison Potter
Julia Garvey and Melvin Rigsby receive the first food orders during a fundraiser for Cape Fear Community College programs on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Bluewater Grill.
The kitchen was bustling.
With aprons tied around their waists, students glided around the counters, holding large silver trays.
The sound of vegetables being chopped on cutting boards and the clanks of pots and pans bounced off the walls of Bluewater Grill’s upstairs banquet kitchen.
Students from Cape Fear Community College’s hospitality program and the Pineapple Guild student club were busy preparing a three-course meal for guests Wednesday, Feb. 19.
The $35 meal included soup or salad, two glasses of wine, and for the main course, teriyaki salmon topped with pineapple papaya salsa or a prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast and bourbon sauce served over pasta. For dessert, flourless chocolate cake served with a thick raspberry sauce.
Melvin Rigsby, who will graduate this year, was excited to be cooking during this year’s event.
“I love to cook,” Rigsby said. “I’ve been cooking since I was 13 years old.”
The proceeds from the event help students attend the educational trip to the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago in May and contribute to hospitality education scholarships.
Diane Withrow, hospitality management instructor, said the event gives students more opportunities for employment and experience.
“Students do get a lot out of it,” Withrow said. “We do need to raise funds and instead of asking LM [parent company of Bluewater Grill] for money, we’re doing a class project so that the students can learn. This way, they’re not just writing a check.”
Hospitality management and culinary student Julia Garvey took on the leadership role during the event.
“I’m definitely excited,” Garvey said. “I contributed a lot to the program, and I love to help out other students.”
Withrow said Garvey was an outstanding student in her CFCC leadership class.
“[Garvey] just took it on,” Withrow said. “She did go to Chicago last year so she knows what a great opportunity this is for students. She really stepped up.”
At 6 p.m., Withrow gathered the student servers and made sure each one was in attendance. Among them was Abby Leasure, who is in her second year of the hospitality management program.
Tucking in her white shirt and fixing her black bowtie, Leasure said she has dreams to become an event planner.
“I want to be an event planner, because I have a soft spot for weddings,” Leasure said. “I already have a leg in marketing and management, but hospitality is my passion.”