South Charlotte

CPCC offers tasty view of greenway

The culinary school at Central Piedmont Community College has cooked up a plan for bringing visitors to the newly completed northern tip of Little Sugar Creek Greenway.

Students will convert the Van Every Culinary Arts Center's dining room into a restaurant for several dates this week and next.

Reservations are available now for a three-course lunch at the Greenway Restaurant, where visitors will have a view of the trail.

A one-day-only lunchtime event called Grazing With the Student Chefs is scheduled for Feb. 15. Guests will be invited into the kitchen classrooms and served hors deouvres at multiple stations.

Several restaurants have opened near the greenway, but most others are closer to the Metropolitan development at Kings Drive and Charlottetowne Avenue.

The culinary school's program, at Kings Drive and Seventh Street, is a reason to visit a lesser-known area along the trail - and offers a look at the world and work of student chefs.

The school's program might be expanded later if demand from the public is strong enough, said Melissa Vrana, associate dean for CPCC's Central Campus.

"We're experimenting with it," Vrana said. "This is not only an amazing culinary experience but a learning opportunity for students."

The events will be the first restaurant-style service for the public since the culinary school moved to a new building in 2010.

Students get practice preparing meals and serving guests to prepare for work in the industry.

The lunches are scheduled during class hours. Guests will get soup or a salad, a choice of one of four entrees, dessert and a beverage.

The Grazing With the Student Chefs event will be more casual.

The faculty will make a decision about expanding the program after a test run over the next two weeks.

"This is what we call a soft opening," Vrana said. "We'll see how the students are reacting and how is the public reacting. We may expand to incorporate more dates and evenings."