SPC's Ultimate Surprise for Three of its Outstanding Students

November 30, 2018

Public Information Officer

GRADUATING STUDENTS RACHEL DANAE PORTZLINE, DEBORAH WEISS, AND REBECCA DIANN ANTHONY SUPPORT AND SHADOW THE GREAT CHEFS IN REAL-TIME DURING THE SAN ANTONIO AND NEW ORLEANS TRICENTENNIAL EXCHANGE DINNER DEC. 3

Their next big event is their Dec. 17 graduation ceremony with guest speaker Chef Johnny Hernandez

St. Philip's College announced this morning that when San Antonio and New Orleans wrap up their respective Tricentennial observances with a specialist foodie event Dec. 3 in the Tre Trattoria restaurant of the San Antonio Museum of Art at 200 W. Jones St., nearly half of the dream team from the college’s September international exchange program promoting American culinary culture during Gastronomy Week in the gastronomy capital of France---Paris---are graduating students who have been assigned shadow and support duty with great chefs in a once-in-a career project.

Definitive real-time, real-world work is always the ultimate pre-graduation present for St. Philip’s College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department students, and the high-visibility graduating culinary arts students representing San Antonio as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy for this five-hour opportunity on Dec. 3 are Rachel Danae Portzline, Deborah Weiss and Rebecca Diann Anthony with college faculty member sponsor Chef Patrick Costello.

Portzline, Weiss and Anthony will support four renowned chefs during the unique event---the host venue executive chef and three equally renowned chefs from New Orleans. 

“Details just came in yesterday,” Costello said as he consulted his phone today. “They arrive at La Trattoria at 5 p.m. and are assigned to support chefs during the dinner, and they are complete at 10 p.m.,” Costello said. “We are proud of our graduating students, and they are part of my Advanced Management class that is also the team for our President’s Culinary Gala Dinner on Dec. 1, so Rachel, Deborah and Rebecca are active in their last, graduating semester,” Costello said.

Part one of the gastronomic exchange took place this week (Nov. 27) as the legendary SoBou restaurant performed as host venue with San Antonio chefs Jason Dady (Range, Shuck Shack), Jeff Balfour (Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery) and Cariño Cortez (Mi Tierra, Pico de Gallo). Part two of the exchange involves Anthony, Portzline and Weiss Dec. 3 in host venue Tre Trattoria at the San Antonio Museum of Art under the leadership of host chef Jason Dady and featuring three of New Orleans' finest---Will Avelar (Emeril Lagasse’s Meril), Juan Carlos Gonzalez (SoBou) and Michael Gulotta (Maypop). Cocktails are served at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30 pm. for this paid event in waitlist status with details online.

The day of the San Antonio event, Jason Dady will be the primary expert working with Anthony, Portzline and Weiss and giving them the dream assignments. This experience might see the students helping local chefs with the cocktail hour in addition to helping the visiting chefs with the dinner, a fluid situation that will develop throughout the project, organizers share. 

Excellence does not stop, and the next big event for Anthony, Portzline and Weiss following the Tricentennial event is walking the stage during their college’s 140th Commencement ceremony Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. in Freeman Coliseum at 3201 E. Houston St. with Alamo Colleges District Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores and guest speaker Chef Johnny Hernandez, a leading proponent for the city’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation.

Find details on the San Antonio event at the Nov. 16 feature San Antonio imports New Orleans' best chefs for Tricentennial museum dinner by CultureMap reporter Edmond Ortiz. 

CAPTION: St. Philip's College announced this morning that when San Antonio and New Orleans wrap up their respective Tricentennial observances with a specialist foodie event Dec. 3 in the Tre Trattoria restaurant of the San Antonio Museum of Art at 200 W. Jones St., nearly half the dream team from the college’s eight-member September international exchange program team promoting American culinary culture during Gastronomy Week in the gastronomy capital of France---Paris---are graduating students who have been assigned shadow and support duty with great chefs in a once-in-a career Dec. 3 project. One of the Dec. 3 team members in the archival image from their Paris experience is graduating student Rachel Danae Portzline (standing second from left). Portzline’s team members in the project are graduating students Deborah Weiss and Rebecca Diann Anthony with college faculty member sponsor Chef Patrick Costello. (Courtesy image)

About the St. Philip’s College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts department: Recognized as exemplary by both the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the American Culinary Federation, the Tourism, Hospitality, and Culinary Arts programs at St. Philip’s College http://alamo.edu/spc/THCA/ leverage a 110-year legacy of preparing practicing and aspiring hospitality industry professionals for success and service in their industry by offering degree and certificate candidates academic programs in five primary occupational areas along with one full-time faculty member and multiple adjunct faculty members to work directly with students in each area. All five programs involve students in classroom-based learning experiences, as well as lab experience, and work-based learning during a practicum course. The culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and restaurant management programs have been acknowledged with an Exemplary rating from the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission. St. Philip’s College is one of only 25 schools worldwide with the commission’s Exemplary status and is rated Exemplary by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The 110-year-old St. Philip’s College hospitality professions programs typically graduate 100 students annually, and expansion is expected this decade when the college opens its $30 million Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center of Excellence building funded as part of a $450 million bond package approved by voters in May 2017 to both construct new Alamo College District facilities and renovate existing college buildings. Students graduating from the management programs: Hotel Management, Hospitality Management, and Restaurant Management are eligible to receive Certified Hospitality Graduate (CHG) certifications from the Accrediting Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration™. Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts students are eligible for Certification by the American Culinary Federation. The CHG is an industry-recognized professional certification that has been granted to only three hospitality programs in the state of Texas and only one program in the college’s service area. Since 2014, the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management San Antonio has offered the college’s alumni opportunities to transfer to one of the world’s top three hospitality programs. For information on registration in the college’s program, contact the department staff at 210-486-2315 or book reservations with the staff of the college’s student-operated restaurant by calling 210-486-2328.