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posted: 1/27/2014 1:53 PM

MCC restaurant opens for the spring semester

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  • MCC student Kelly Braun of McHenry carmalizes vegetables for a stock during a Culinary Skills II class.

    MCC student Kelly Braun of McHenry carmalizes vegetables for a stock during a Culinary Skills II class.
    Courtesy of McHenry County College


Submitted by McHenry County College

Foodies take note: Fine dining is back at McHenry County College. Slàinte (pronounced "slawn-cha"), the college's student-managed restaurant, will reopen for the spring semester at MCC Monday, Feb. 10. Restaurant hours will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays through April 22.

This season's menu includes seared spice-rubbed duck breast with apples, seasonal greens, and apple cider vinaigrette; Maine lobster purse with Americaine sauce; herb-crusted roast rack of lamb and roesti potato; and pan seared pork tenderloin with andouille sausage gravy and bread pudding.

Save room for dessert, though, because selections include Linzer torte with chocolate sauce and crème Anglaise, New York Style cheesecake, and homemade mini doughnuts served with ganache. To view the complete menu, visit www.mchenry/edu/slainte. You can also sign up for an email alert for menu changes or special events.

According to MCC's new Executive Chef and Department Chair for Culinary Management, Chef Paul Tinaglia, students in McHenry County College's Culinary Management program learn the skills needed for a range of job opportunities in the food and hospitality fields.

With a strong focus on sustainable and hands-on practice, students learn preparation, handling, sanitation and safety. In addition to standard coursework, students gain real-world experience at Slàinte, where they produce high-end dishes focusing both on quality and presentation.

Slàinte is designed to both educate students and delight customers, Tinaglia said.

"My vision as a chef and educator is the integrity of the food, the use of local farmers, sustainability, strong foundation in food service, and management."

Slàinte is a Scottish toast that means "to good health," which is the philosophy embraced through the restaurant's emphasis on integrity of food, sustainable ingredients and a diversity of dishes, Tinaglia noted.

Tinaglia was a chef instructor at Kendall College for 15 years, where he taught culinary classes, served as executive chef for Kendall's fine-dining restaurant and showcased Kendall College in the Meals on Wheels Benefits for seven years in Delaware and the British Virgin Islands.

He's also been a corporate chef and was executive chef at Courtright's, a four-star restaurant in Willow Springs.

Restaurant hours are from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday through April 22. Seating capacity is 60, and reservations are suggested. Price per diner is $25 and includes an appetizer, soup or salad, a main course and a dessert.

The restaurant is in the MCC Scot Room, Building B, Room 178, behind the cafeteria. The college is at 8900 Route 14 in Crystal Lake. For menu details, online reservations and more information, visit