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EDWINS culinary students run 'Taste of Home' dinner service as capstone event before graduation

The five-course menu along with wine pairings was chosen, prepared, and served by the soon-to-be graduates.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Here at Edwins Too at Shaker Square, the restaurant is hopping on a Thursday night.

But these soon-to-be graduates of the EDWINS culinary program are taking it all in stride.

Abdul El-Amin and Shatyea Wilson are running the front of house and back of house, respectively. El-Amin serving as maitre d' and Wilson acting as chef de cuisine.

"No pressure," says El-Amin. 

"I feel good, I feel good about my classmates too," adds Wilson. "I think that food is a good way to connect with people and that's what I've always done. It makes me happy to see someone enjoying my food."

"The experience we're getting tonight, the expertise we're borrowing from our instructors, it's good. It's good for us," says El-Amin.

As the service goes on, the pressure mounts and that's just what Chef Brandon Chrostowski of EDWINS wants. This is the graduates' night to shine, or not.

"The feeling right now is sort of deer in the headlights just a bit, but they're tough. They're not just tough, they're good," Chrostowski says.

After the amuse-bouche bacon burnt ends on apple slaw came the first course, stuffed green pepper soup. It's served with rice, shredded green pepper and braciole. It looks delicious, but what do the diners think?

"It was fantastic! There was a definite pepper aftertaste and it was really highlighted by the sparkling wine," says diner Martin Uhle.

Course after course moving out of the kitchen, just as these students will move into the culinary world.

"Everyone here had guts. They could make it in any kitchen in this city and beyond," says Chrostowski, proudly.

Bon Apetit' everyone. And on to the next class in the EDWINS program.

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