Friends with Taste

Friends with Taste

If the thought of a hands-on cooking session, a few hours with a celebrity chef or a wine-pairing class makes your heart race, you’ll want to become friends with the Johnson County Community College hospitality and culinary programs.

The JCCC Foundation is introducing “Friends with Taste,” a culinary membership group with benefits that include culinary events and online recognition.

The new group coincides with the construction of the new Hospitality and Culinary Academy at JCCC, scheduled to open for classes in August.

“With the new building, we have a facility that we can do community events in,” said Lindy Robinson, dean of business. “Before this, there was no facility for these kinds of events.”

It’s expected that the new Friends with Taste group will offer up to four community events with culinary education components each year. The events might include a visiting chef or a wine and beef tasting program, or a hands-on class like learning to make paella.

The group offers three membership levels:

  • Devotee ($100): includes invitations to exclusive Friends with Taste events.
  • Aficionado ($250): invitations to Friends with Taste events and advance notice of special culinary events.
  • Connoisseur ($500): invitations to Friends with Taste event, advance notice of special culinary events and recognition on the Friends with Taste web page.

Friends with Taste memberships will support scholarships for JCCC hospitality and culinary students, assist with team expenses at culinary competitions and support innovative work in the new building’s classrooms, such as visits from chefs.

Charter members of the group, who join before June 30, will be invited to an exclusive hard-hat tour of the new Hospitality and Culinary Academy.

Stewart and Esther Stein of Leawood chair the Friends with Taste steering committee. Other committee members are Jeff and Cathy Alpert of Leawood, Brad and Libby Bergman of Overland Park, Bob and Ann Regnier of Leawood, Mike and Nancy Thiessen of Mission Hills, Kevin Timmons of Overland Park and David and Kathy Wysong of Mission Hills.