Jim Donlin got his first taste of Xavier long ago, but he still craves regular helpings today. He’s an active member of his alumni chapter in Orlando, and he has two daughters currently enrolled at the University—the 15th and 16th members of his family to share his alma mater. He is also the founder of the Westye Group, an appliance distributor that hosts cooking classes to demonstrate products to customers. So when he was looking for a way to spice up his chapter’s events, a home-cooked meal came to mind—a meal of gourmet cuisine at Westye’s culinary school, that is.
Donlin donated the funds for the event, and on Sept. 14, alumni donned their chef hats and paired into small teams. A chef instructed each group on preparation of a different dish, and they all shared the fruits—and other food groups—of each other’s labors with a buffet of their creations. The spread included pepper-crusted beef roulade, coriander-crusted salmon, sherry-roasted chicken, crown roast of lamb and chocolate soufflé.
“We’re kind of a small chapter, and we never draw a big crowd to anything we do,” Donlin says. “This was the biggest group we’ve ever had sign up for anything.”