Chef’s Tables at JWU are a little like “Restaurant Wars” on “Top Chef”: a team of students design and execute their own restaurant concept, starting with a unified theme. The chefs are then paired with student designers from Deana Marzocchi’s Design Solutions class, who help them flesh out a visual identity for their concept, including a logo, menu designs and table settings.
As on “Top Chef,” there is not a lot of time to finalize either menu or designs — inspiration and solutions alike must be found quickly. But, in the end, the day arrives, the tables are set, and a beautifully-crafted 6-course menu will be served. (If you’re lucky, the student chefs might even throw in some extra bites.)
“Southern Sea” was the concept of the student team consisting of Alexis DeMoss, Kenny Phillips, Mikayla Rocheleau and Will Friedman, all of whom loved the idea of pairing Southern-inspired comfort food with the freshest New England seafood.
Student designers Olivia Deluca and Kerilynn Barnard created elegant etched wood menus and crafted a nautical theme for the table setting, complete with a sand- and shell-strewn centerpiece.
And the food? From the first beautiful bite of scallop paired with a tart granny smith apple crisp to the last rich bite of buerre noisette ice cream, it was a wonderful progression. (The shellfish and grits were particularly soulful.)