For the culinary students at Manchester Community College, next Monday will be like Bruce Springsteen’s return to Asbury Park, N.J.
Invited by the college's alumni association and hospitality department, Sosa will spend time in the MCC kitchens with the student cooks before speaking at a fund-raiser dinner about his ascent to reality-show fame and success as a New York City restaurateur.
Sosa, who lived in Durham, graduated from MCC’s culinary program in 1995 and went on graduate with high honors from the Culinary Institute of America. His working career has taken him from New York’s finest restaurants to the Bahamas and back again. Much of his work was for his mentor Jean-George Vongerichten, a French-born chef who has run restaurants from Trump Tower to the Las Vegas strip.
Sosa made the finals in his first appearance on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 7 and might have won were it not for a nasty illness just before the final round in Singapore. In February he was eliminated from Top Chef All-Stars for over-salting one of his dishes – a judges’ finding his fans viewed as a miscarriage of culinary justice.
Sosa’s newest venture is Social Eatz on East 53rd Street in Manhattan. The restaurant “reinterprets NYC staples with flavors from across Asia,” Sosa’s website says.
Tickets for the MCC dinner are $50. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the MCC dining room located in the Lowe building on the second floor. Members of the public may make reservations by filling out this form and faxing, mailing or emailing it to Sara Vincent at MCC. Proceeds benefit the MCC Culinary Arts program.
The dinner menu includes seared sea scallops and risotto, an asparagus and mushroom salad, braised lamb shanks, mashed potatoes and dessert.