You Gotta Eat: The Dragon Cafe
PEKIN - We’re trying something a little different this week: there’s a local spot serving hearty, homemade plates, and the staff is entirely comprised of students at Pekin Community High School.
The Culinary Arts program is thriving. Every day, students are learning the ins and outs of the restaurant industry - most importantly, how to make some great food.
The Dragon Cafe is where the students get to showcase their skills. It is open on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., and every week, there’s a new, made-from-scratch menu.
“(The students) do the menu, they come up with the ideas, they make changes, they do anything that needs to be done,” instructor Billie Jo Cassidy said.
This week, they’re serving one of my all-time favorites: creamy, homemade chicken Alfredo. But first, let’s dive into the sides.
I’m served a delicious Caesar salad with homemade dressing and croutons. It is incredible, and it goes really well with some fresh, buttery rolls.
Time for the main course, and this flavor-packed plate does not disappoint. The chicken is cooked perfectly, the sauce tastes amazing and the noodles are fantastic.
But let me tell you - they saved the best for last.
For dessert, I’m treated to a homemade, raspberry truffle cupcake. The prep process for this one is serious business, and that hard work translates into one tasty treat.
All of this fantastic food is just $8.00 per plate, and the proceeds help cover the cost of ingredients.
It’s classic cuisine that serves as course credit, and it is seriously impressive.
“It is just amazing to see how much (the students) have grown from August to now, and just how many ideas they have about what recipes we should make, or how we should adapt things,” instructor Brice Reeise said.
You can find The Dragon Cafe in the Holman Center at Pekin Community High School - the school’s address is 1903 Court Street in Pekin.
They are open Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
To make a reservation, call (309) 347-4101 ext. 6316, or send an email to email@example.com.
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