Last summer, Extension Specialist Catherine Strohbehn, Iowa Yucatan Association President Sue Jarnagin along with other officers including Jane and William Edwards, and Rick Exner began planning for a Yucatan Dinner Event to be held in the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom.
Lakshman Rajagopal and Nathan Stokes, instructors of the Hospitality Management Fine Dining Management class, collaborated by arranging students to assist with pre-dinner preparations during a scheduled lab while exposing them to a new culinary experience.
Chef Minelia Romero and her daughter Paulina Espinoza provided direction to the students and other Hospitality Management staff (John Kramer, Janell Meyer and Jinhyun Jun) in preparing the meal.
Iowa members of the Iowa Yucatan Partners assisted Sue Jarnagin and Rick Exner with front of the house efforts that included setting up the dining room place settings and exhibits, and serving as wait staff during the dinner. Yucatan musicians from Simpson College provided entertainment.
Eighty five members of the community attended the dinner and enjoyed a wonderful culinary experience. Over $2,000 was raised to help support health and hygiene outreach efforts in the Yucatan.