As we have stated in the past, one of the wonderful qualities of vocational technical & agricultural educators is their willingness to share with colleagues. We are always excited to share interesting ideas and activities that have proven successful in one or more of our MAVA schools. Today we are pleased to share one from Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton.
For the past 21 years, Bay Path has hosted a Chowderfest fundraiser. Guests vote their favorite chowders. Proceeds from Chowderfest benefit the Culinary Arts program at the school and its Junior American Culinary Federation Chapter. Guests pay five dollars each to taste chowders prepared by local chefs and restaurants.
Marcie Wood, culinary arts/chef instructor at Bay Path and Chowderfest coordinator, said “students in the school’s Culinary Club help sell event tickets, with proceeds benefiting food trips, competitions, and restaurant visits. Students get an opportunity to observe management of the front and back of the house at restaurants and get a “taste of the real world.”
Chowderfest brings 15 restaurants together for contest, fundraiser for Culinary Club
Barbara M. Houle Special to the Telegram & Gazette
The annual Chowderfest at Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton is one of the largest fundraisers for the Bay Path Culinary Club and it’s scheduled to return Nov. 19 at the school.
The event from 4 to 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria is $5 per person, at the door. The admission price has held steady through the years. You can’t beat it! Guests will get the chance to vote their favorite chowders prepared by more than 15 restaurants, food businesses, culinary arts chef instructors, culinary students, and a food truck owner.
The 21st Chowderfest helps support the belief that chowder not only is an icon of American cooking, but also a good hearty chowder warms body and soul. The highly anticipated fundraiser has sold out year after year.
Chowderfest participants: Pine Ridge Country Club in North Oxford; Elm Centre Café in Southbridge; Angry Panda Food Co., a food truck based in Holland; Tantasqua Regional Vocational High School in Sturbridge; The Metro Bistro in Southbridge; The Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge; The Clam Box in Brookfield; Uno Pizzeria & Grill in Sturbridge; Uncle Meatball (new business) in Charlton; The Publick House in Southbridge; Carol’s Catering & More in Auburn; Yankee Diner in Charlton; Mike’s Crunchies & Munchies in Oxford; Northeast Pizza in Leicester; Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge; Charlie’s Diner in Spencer; Chef Armata and Chef H, both culinary arts/chef instructors at Bay Path (friendly competition); Bay Path Culinary; Crystal Snow of North Brookfield.
Marcie Wood, culinary arts/chef instructor at Bay Path and Chowderfest coordinator, said students in the school’s Culinary Club help sell event tickets, with proceeds benefiting food trips, competitions, and restaurant visits. Students get an opportunity to observe management of the front and back of the house at restaurants and get a “taste of the real world,” said Wood.
Culinary Arts also is included in the school’s Career Technical Initiative Evening Program. The school’s culinary arts instructors, Derek Henrickson, Giacomo Armata and Marcie Wood offer a comprehensive culinary arts curriculum designed in partnership with 2023 local industry employers, Pine Ridge Country Club in North Oxford, The Overlook in Charlton and UMass Memorial Medical Center University Campus and Niche Hospitality Group, both in Worcester. Program participants learn all aspects of the “back of the house,” according to Wood. Crystal Snow, who will participate in her first Chowderfest at the school, attends the evening program. After 33 years of factory work, Snow said she was “desperate for a career change.” The program and the culinary chef instructors are fantastic, she said, adding she looks forward to working in the industry. “I can’t wait,” she said. Visit www.baypath.net for more information about the culinary program, etc.
Thanksgiving notes: Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School, 57 Old Muggett Hill Road, will have a Thanksgiving Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 21 in the school’s Hill Top Restaurant. Enter through Door G of the building. Note: The student-run Hill Top Restaurant is open to the public, with hours posted on the school website. It will not be in service the day of the bake sale.
Featured bake sale items, while supplies last: Dinner rolls, sticky buns, pumpkin sweet rolls; Apple, apple crumb, pumpkin, pecan, blueberry, cherry, peach, maple walnut, mince, coconut cream, chocolate cream and strawberry cream pies; Blueberry, lemon, raspberry, apple, apricot, and peach squares; Assorted cookie tins and cupcakes.
Also, Cornucopias, chocolate and pumpkin whoopie pies; Chocolate, lemon, carrot, and apple spice cakes; Chocolate, strawberry, pumpkin, and plain cheesecakes: Oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, M&M chocolate chip and molasses cookies; Peanut butter balls, pumpkin chocolate chip, pecan, Oreo, chocolate, and mint chocolate truffles boxes.
David J. Ferreira
MAVA Communications Coordinator