Three Collin College students recently worked with Del Frisco’s Grille Plano to create unique tasting menus benefiting the college’s Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Education (IHCE). 

Collin College students Ted Huang, Kayla Ast and Allie Evans

(From left) Collin College students Ted Huang, Kayla Ast and Allie Evans created tasting menus for Del Frisco’s Grille Plano.

The menus were offered for dinner service Sunday-Tuesday for the first three weeks of July* in celebration of Culinary Arts Month, raising $355 for IHCE scholarships. The menus were prepared by Kayla Ast, Allie Evans and Ted Huang, and reflected their unique tastes. Check them out at the end of this article.

All told, 71 people chose the students’ tasting menus with 10 percent of each meal benefiting IHCE scholarships. The restaurant considered the promotion a success.

Cougar News reached out to Del Frisco’s Grille General Manager Stephen Wright for some more details on the fundraiser.

Is this program of offering a tasting menu designed by outside individuals something you do regularly? If no, why try this now?
This is the first time we have done this. It was really just an idea that came to me when we were looking at possible marketing ideas for National Culinary Arts Month. This is definitely an idea we can build and expand on in the future.

How did you come to work with the Collin College Institute for Hospitality and Culinary Education?
I have three current students in the program that are also involved in our training and Chef Apprentice programs in the restaurant. I thought it would be something that they would be excited about as well as give them some real world experience at the business side of the kitchen as well. 

How was the experience of working with the students?
It has been positive. My chef team has really taken them under their wing for this project which has gotten everyone more engaged in the business as a whole.

A portion of the proceeds goes back to Collin College. Why is that important?
Anytime we can be involved in the community, we look to do so. I believe we have a responsibility to give back. In addition, as a growing company that employs multiple chef and management positions at each restaurant, we always want to open up opportunities for future talent to join our ranks.

What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers on the tasting menus so far?
Feedback has been positive. Plates are coming back clean. That is always a good sign in our business.

Do you think this is something you might do again in the future?
Absolutely. I think it will only get bigger and better moving forward.


Allie's peach cobbler

Allie Evans’ peach cobbler with a cinnamon crumble crust

Student Tasting Menus
Kayla Ast’s Menu – served July 9-11
Appetizer: Watermelon and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad
Entrée: Savory Seared Salmon atop an Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta with a creamy Caper Butter Sauce
Dessert: Key Lime Pie

Allie Evans’ Menu – served July 16-18
Appetizer: Fried Green Tomatoes with Bacon and Bleu Cheese
Entrée: 12-inch Texas Beef Ribs with Jalapeño and Chorizo Corn
Dessert: Texas Peach Cobbler prepared with a Cinnamon Crumble Crust and served with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Ted Huang’s Menu– served July 23-25
Appetizer: Szechuan Style Fish Tacos – Szechuan Haddock Fish Tacos served with a spicy pickled vegetable slaw
Entrée: Creamy Vichyssoise Pasta with Soy Glazed Pork
Dessert: Green Tea Crème Brule

Del Frisco’s Grille Plano is located at 7200 Bishop Road, Suite D9 in Plano.

*Information about the tasting menus, dates and times were distributed via Collin College social media. Follow us (@collincollege) on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute news.