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World Class Dining & Hospitality In North Little Rock | VIP Night At The UAPTC-CAHMI

VIP Night at the UAPTC-Culinary & Hospitality institute was a culinary delight. The University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College was a huge supporter and sponsored the North Little Rock event this year. VIP guests dined at the UA-PTC Culinary & Hospitality Institute, where attendees had a fantastic dining experience.

After a presentation at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub with Dr. Ana Hunt, Tom Gray and Errin Stanger, guests toured the makerspace and met the teams. The challenge was building an interactive experience in tribute to the “Trail of Tears”, to be showcased in North Little Rock’s Riverfront park.

Dinner was offsite at the Culinary & Hospitality Institute. Make48 transported everyone via bus ride through the city. The University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute is a remarkable college. The UAPTC-CAHMI is a world-class culinary, baking and pastry, hospitality, and wine training center with highly skilled faculty members to provide students with challenging hands-on experience. They pride themselves on being a student-centered institution.

UA-PTC designed an incredible, interactive dinner experience for Make48’s VIP guests. Culinary students were on hand with delicious appetizers. The hors d'oeuvres were created by Chef Robert Hall and included Crab Rangoon, Vegan Taco Cups and Blackberry BBQ Chicken Bites (w/ bacon).

Along with nibbles was a station for guests to create a signature cocktail. Kenneth Lipsmeyer and Mandie Smith, both instructors for Wine and Hospitality at the Culinary Arts and Hospitality department, explained how to make the drinks. Both the CAHMI’s Candied Clementine with flambéd marshmallow and the Pomegranate Ginger Mocktail were AMAZING.

Guests were then led to the dining room to dine on a world-class meal. Chef Marquis Thompson created a beautiful Masala Apple & Quinoa Salad (poached apples, quinoa, candied pecans, feta, mint and masala curry vinaigrette). Options were given for the entrée. Chef Jamie McAfee prepared the star, a delicious Beef Wellington w/ Red Wine Demi with a sweet potato stack and roasted asparagus. For the vegetarians and vegans, a stuffed portabella mushroom was presented.

Desserts were the final treat of the evening! Even mighty full, everyone had room for desserts. Chef Chocla Lea constructed a variety of mouthwatering goodies using a Warm Chocolate Fondant as the base with a flavor matrix. Guests plated their own desserts using sauces, crumbles, garnishes and ice-cream. We explored some unique flavor pairings with the chocolate. The flavors hit all the marks! Beets, Caramel and Malt; Passion Fruit, Coffee and Pumpkin; and Praline, Banana and Pineapple made up the trios. A coffee station hit the spot and guests left with a gift bag with handmade ornaments from the Hub, Make48 coasters and a chocolate box of 4 assorted truffles. (Mimosa, Chai Tiger, Passion Fruit-Honey, Salted Caramel!)

Dr. Angela Kremers, Dean of the School of Technical and Professional Studies at UA-PTC, attended the VIP dinner. “UA-PTC was proud to showcase The Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute for VIP Night. Make48 is an incredible organization that connects innovation and local maker spaces with everyday people to bring great ideas to life. With such a great mission, hosting was a highlight with palpable excitement during the evening. CAHMI faculty and students passionately shared their craft with great detail in their culinary skills and customer service. We have an incredible program and team and it was such a pleasure to create an extraordinary evening for the VIPs and Make48 talented team.”

It was an outstanding evening at the UAPTC-CAHMI. Make48’s event director Amy Gray was very impressed. “As a foodie and home cook, I was especially excited for this VIP experience. Everything from the cocktails and appetizers (the blackberry BBQ chicken bites were my favorite!) to the presentation of the beef wellington, to the explanation of the flavor pairings for dessert was all top notch. My tastebuds were delighted all night! They certainly have a great program going at UA-PTC and I wish all the student chefs that presented our meal the best of luck in their future careers.”

We want to send a huge thank you to all of UA-PTC for being great supporters of the NLR-Make48 event. If you’d like to explore their career journeys visit

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