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Press Release

Media Advisory
For More Information Contact:
Mark Berkner
Culinary Arts Program
(209) 954-5543

Annual Culinary Arts Scholarship Dinner, Sunday, April 10
at the Stockton Golf & Country Club

Get ready for an amazing culinary experience! The students and chef instructors of San Joaquin Delta College are hosting their popular Culinary Arts Scholarship Dinner on Sunday, April 10th,
5 – 9 p.m.
at the beautiful Stockton Golf and Country Club, 3800 W. Country Club Blvd.

The evening is an elegant experience of flavors, with six decadent courses paired with wine and an array of appetizers.  The event features a silent and live auction, highlighting abundant packages of goodies from wine to river cruises, spa packages, dinner and theater packages, signed cookbooks from famous celebrity chefs, and more!

The Delta College Culinary Arts Scholarship Dinner is one of the major fund-raising events for the program. The money raised directly benefits Delta’s Culinary Arts students through scholarships. This year, the program will award approximately 12 scholarships totaling $10,000.

Students in the Culinary Arts Program study all aspects of the industry, from European pastry production, plated desserts, retail management, kitchen management and restaurant operations. Along with Delta’s white tablecloth Student Chef Restaurant, these experiences help students gain insight into the Culinary Arts industry. Many of the program’s students graduate to become successful chefs and restaurant owners, including Warren Ito of Earnie's and Buddy O'Dell of Sass.

This year, another menu of culinary delights is in the works! Guests will enjoy a six-course gourmet meal prepared by Delta’s Culinary Arts students and their chef-instructors Mark Berkner, Robert Halabicky and adjunct instructor Tracey Berkner.

Each course will be paired perfectly with a fine local wine that stimulates the cuisine and enhances the culinary experience. Lodi wineries and wine makers have worked for years with Delta College on culinary events.

Appetizers include: sushi, steak tartar, Guinea Hen hash, foie gras, chimicurri, parmesan crisps, and blue cheese mousse on toast. The Dinner begins with a Dungeness crab salad with Delta asparagus, shaved fennel and poached wild salmon. Dinner entrees include: smoked duck, confit bread pudding and grilled beef tenderloin. Desserts will include chocolate “Crème,” caramelized phyllo wafers and chocolate orange custard.

Chef Mark Berkner comes to Delta’s Culinary Arts program with a tremendous resume. Mark and Tracey purchased the historic St. George Hotel in Volcano, CA., and ran it successfully for six years. The cuisine featured seasonally inspired meals. After selling the St. George, the Berkner’s traveled the Western U.S., with sojourns into Italy, France and England.

Chef Mark and Tracey embarked on their newest adventure, the Taste Restaurant, 9402 Main Street, Plymouth. Not done yet, their latest venture is the renovation of the Volcano Union Inn, featuring seasonal “California Pub” style food.

Chef Robert Halabicky owns and operates Beyond Baked, 1349 Broadway in Placerville.
“We do it all from scratch Artisan breads,” says Chef Halabicky, “wedding cakes, breakfast pastries, croissants, cinnamon rolls, scones, soups and sandwiches, to name a few.” Halabicky emphasizes, “All are prepared by hand and with fresh local ingredients.”  Chef Halabicky’s students, combined with his real-world expertise, will provide sumptuous and sweet desserts. Their decadent desserts will be the perfect cap to a superb dining experience.

Food broker Ray Rustigian, owner of The Marketing Factory, and a loyal fan of the event for 20 years says, “Each year the dinner has been a happy culinary arts experience from beginning to end. The students prepare all year long to please the guests with great food, beverage and service.”

“The dinner has a legacy,” explains Leslie Asfour, Fashion Instructor at Delta College. “The event was started many years ago by former instructor, Chef John Britto. The dinner is a  great way for students to gain real-world experience, boasts strong regional support from food and wine providers, and benefits a great cause!”

McKenzie Croney, a Culinary Arts student who worked the event for the first time last year, says, “The dinner was exciting and fun, filled with amazement! The guests were happy and extremely interested in helping our program. It was a great experience. I can’t wait until April 10th!”

Tickets for this fund-raising event are $79, purchased in advance at Delta’s Student Chef Restaurant, Danner 108 (Mon.-Wed.) or by calling (209) 954-5099. You may also purchase tickets through the Arts & Communications Division office,  (209) 954-5099.

While Mark Berkner realizes that people might consider the ticket price high, "It’s a fantastic value; very high quality food, paired with great wines, service and setting. The major value is in helping our Culinary Arts students.  It’s always a great evening!”

For more information, please contact Chef Mark Berkner at:  or 209-954-5543.

Images from last year’s event:

Delta College Student Chef Restaurant:



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San Joaquin Delta College
5151 Pacific Ave
Stockton, California 95207
(209) 954-5151