Weekly ‘Pop-Up Dinners’ Provide Students with Real-World Training & Job Preparation Experience

Guest blog post by Maria Spadaro, Business & Hospitality Coordinator, A-B Tech


_DSC0427 copyDid you miss the Southside Kitchen Pop-up Dinner at the Edington Center this past week? If so, you missed a treat. Southside Kitchen, located at 133 Livingston Street, is a community resource getting lots of attention these days. A-B Tech Community College and Green Opportunities (GO) have partnered to utilize the kitchen to provide training classes that meet the needs of our local hospitality businesses.


The pop-up dinners, which take place six times each training cycle, serve as a platform for students to experience the realities of live restaurant service, and provide excellent job preparation. The “Foundations in Culinary” class led by Chef Liam Luttrell-Rowland, Director of the GO Kitchen Ready program and A-B Tech Culinary Arts graduate, puts students through their paces, graduating students with 208 hours of kitchen preparation and cooking skills. Community meals served at lunch and during the pop-up dinners are completely prepared by the students and are a culinary delight.


Added this training cycle is a new class geared toward training front of the house service staff. The new “Table Service Essentials” class is led by A-B Tech instructor Tim Tizzano, a veteran trainer for the restaurant and organic market industries. Students learn the art of pleasing diners while applying practical set up and service procedures. Employer partners Omni Grove Park Inn, UNCA Dining Hall and Outback Steakhouse have committed to offering Table Service Essentials graduates hiring preference.


Get Involved!


Community Members, if you want a great meal, there is still time to attend a pop-up dinner this month on Thursdays, March 24th and 31st. Dinner seatings take place between 5:30 and 7:00 PM and are first-come, first-served.


If you are interested in receiving this type of job training and joining the next cycle of classes, contact Joseph Hackett, GO Director of Student Development at (828) 398-4158 ext 111 or, or Maria Spadaro, A-B Tech Business and Hospitality Coordinator at (828) 398-7925 or Financial assistance is available.


Finally, we are always looking for local employers interested in becoming committed partners. Reach out to us and help us grow our community-based hospitality service program.