Las Cruces is full of culinary surprises from old world baking to tortilla making, from micro-breweries and wineries to historic Mexican eateries….I have to say that even though we are located in the desert southwest its’ not all chile and Mexican fare around here…

So bring in the new year with some international cuisine….the much anticipated International Dinners at New Mexico State University are delicious and addicting…. HRTM ChefStudents are doing amazing things to build their resumes and give back to the community. This rings true in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Each semester Chef Maurice Zeck trains and mentors students in food preparation, knowledge and management of international fare, culminating in an array of themed dinners hosted throughout the semester.

Enjoy a glass of wine thoughtfully selected by Chef Zeck in the newly completed Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine, an event and wine-tasting room design in a Tuscan style décor, the perfect setting to start the evening in anticipation of multiple course dinners. The Academy has state-of-the-art wine cellars and storage facilities to house a collection of exceptional wines. After a brief discussion of wines, wonder down to 100 West Café and experience flavors from around the world. The menus are thoughtful and selective. Students research menu options and create table-top décor to go along with each themed dinner. They feature cuisines from regions such as Northern Italy, the North Pacific and the South of France.  Additionally, American Steakhouse is a favorite among patrons who attend every season. Rich flavorful soups, fresh tantalizing salads and hearty main courses such as Chateaubriand, roasted lamb, pastas in rich sauces, delicately made pastries and lush desserts laced with the freshest berries are just a few dishes meticulously prepared and elegantly presented. HRTM-Main Dish HRTM fruit My favorite part of the evening…..

As dinner winds down, the students share a little about their educational journey and what their plans are for the future as they move on to positions at national restaurants, resorts around the world, cruise lines, hotel…venues where quality food is prepared. Quite inspiring!

In addition to all of this, I take pleasure in knowing that behind every meal are talented student chefs and hospitality majors working together, a true collaboration to bring these dinners to the public!

There are about five dinners per semester and they begin at 6:30 pm in 100 West Café, west end of Gerald Thomas Hall. Note: These dinners fill up fast! The first three dinners will go on sale soon so Call Stella Lucero at 575-646-7324, she will take care of you!