The Northern Marianas Trades Institute treated its donors and other local partners to a special dinner prepared by the graduates of its culinary arts program last Tuesday at its Lower Base grounds.
NMTI president Agnes McPhetres said the dinner is the result of the fruits of every donation they made to NMTI. “I would like to thank you for being here to see the fruits of your donation. Every penny donated to NMTI is used wisely.”
“You will see that everything that we received from you are returned back to you. When we train these students, it would go back to the businesses. Our students get academia here but go out to businesses to do their practicum,” she added.
NMTI also offers construction trades: plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and cabinet-making.
NMTI has also started with its apprenticeship program with other local businesses as their partners. “We’re expanding our program so that every business in the CNMI would be able to work with us,” McPhetres said.
She said treating everyone to their culinary arts students’ French dish chicken chasseur is NMTI’s way of saying thank you. “That’s why we’re here. Our way to do this is to make you taste the money that you’ve given to us through our culinary arts program.”
Culinary arts program director Ty Pauling, who is also Hyatt Regency Saipan’s F&B director, said the dish that was served is a typical French hunters meal since they can either use a wild rooster or rabbit.
“This is one of my favorite dishes personally, because when I went to culinary school I was told to make this since there was a potential scholarship involved when I do it well. It’s one of those dishes that can challenge you in a lot of ways,” said Pauling. “There’s a lot of skill involved in the dish.”
Pauling meets with NMTI’s culinary arts night class twice a week where they spend one hour on lecture and three hours on practical applications. “A lot of time was reserved on hands-on application since the industry is pretty much hands-on. This class began in late January of this year and they’ve come a long way since then.”
“We’ve compressed a lot in a short amount of time. Attendance makes up 25 percent of the grade, because if I’m an employer and most of the time you’re absent, then I’ll need a new staff. This program meant to showcase the skills that our chefs have obtained while they’ve been with us,” he added.