Johnson County Community College
Press Release

College Information and Publications
Diane Carroll, writer/editor/media relations, ext. 3425
Tyler Cundith, sports information director, ext. 3122

Culinary program fundraiser


Culinary program fundraiser

Friends host events to support JCCC culinary program

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.– Wine tasting, anyone? How about dinner and a show?

Friends with Taste, a membership group that supports the culinary arts program at Johnson County Community College, is offering all three at an event that will take place on Saturday, July 26.

The fundraiser marks the first-year anniversary of the group, which formed last summer at about the same time the college's hospitality management and culinary programs moved into a new state-of-the-art building called the Hospitality and Culinary Academy.

"We'd love to have everyone come out to enjoy this beautiful building and help us support our world-renowned culinary program," said Kate Allen, associate vice president of institutional advancement and government affairs.

The evening will begin with dinner at 6 p.m. in the academy. It will be followed by a wine-tasting reception and a theatrical comedy called "Wine Lovers – The Wine Tasting Musical." Preparing the three-course dinner will be Chef Ryan Brazeal, a graduate of the college's culinary program who worked as a sous chef in New York until returning to Kansas City recently and opening Novel, a restaurant on the city's Westside.

Afterward, patrons will walk next door to the Regnier Center's Capitol Federal Conference Center for the wine-tasting reception at 7 p.m. and the musical at 8 p.m. The reception will feature appetizers by Brazeal and a half dozen kinds of wine poured by Doug Frost, a Kansas City-based author who is one of only a few people in the world to have the titles of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine at the same time.

The musical tells the story of two mismatched students attending a wine class led by an effervescent wine connoisseur whose goal in life is to impart the pleasures of selecting and drinking wine. Over the course of 70 minutes, the two students and the audience learn all about reds, whites, screw caps, Zinfandels – and a little bit about love.

The musical is produced and directed by Holly-Anne Ruggiero, whose Broadway credits include "Jersey Boys" and "Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays." It features a score written by wine expert Michael Green and award-winning jazz composer Gary Negbaur.

Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting the JCCC Foundation at 913-469-3835.

The price for all three events is $175 per person ($160 for members of Friends with Taste). The price for just the wine reception and the musical is $75 per person ($60 for members). A VIP sponsor ticket is $500.

During the last year, Friends with Taste has raised $40,000. Its members are hoping that more people will want to join their group. There are three annual membership levels: devotee ($100), aficionado ($250) and connoisseur ($500). A membership includes two individuals from the same address.

Membership fees help support scholarships for JCCC students, participation in regional, national and international culinary competitions and innovative work in JCCC’s classrooms.

For more information, visit Friends with Taste.