TRAVERSE CITY — A Taste of Success is back in its to-go model this year, but Great Lakes Culinary Institute staff said they hope to resume in person next year.

Institute Director Les Eckert said they start planning for the annual fundraiser event in October. At that time, COVID-19 variants were around, Eckert said, so they decided to keep the takeout format. This is the third year of to-go.

“We’re reaching a market with the to-go box that we don’t reach with the in-person events,” Eckert said. “We’ll see next year.”

Culinary Instructor Jim Morse said the menu generously serves two people. The charcuterie portion includes cured salmon, pickles, crostini and more made by the students in the garde manger (cold kitchen) class. The soup comes from Lobdell’s, the culinary teaching restaurant. Dessert includes chocolate truffles.

“We try to highlight different parts of the world and different cultures,” Morse said. “Each cuisine has its own prepared entrée.”

This year, four cuisines were chosen: Kenyan, Peruvian, Italian and Vietnamese. The students learn about these cultures and ingredients in their classes and then how to prepare them, Morse said.

“Students tour the globe,” he said. “It’s a good learning opportunity for them. Restaurants are still doing takeout, so it’s a good opportunity to pivot and be adaptable.”

Last year, A Taste of Success collected more than $130,000.

“The money we raise from this event has multiple outreach connections,” Eckert said.

Morse agreed, adding that proceeds support things like start-ups costs for new students’ knife kits, general scholarships to the culinary institute and study abroad trips.

There are 250 boxes available. Eckert said this is “how much our students can handle.”

Ticket sales opened toward the end of February and close a few days before pickup. Packages are $250 each and are ready from 4-6 p.m. April 28 at the Northwestern Michigan College Great Lakes Campus.

Call 231-995-1021 or purchase through

Though the meals do not include alcohol, Morse added that they partnered with Lake District Wine Co.

“They’re bringing in some local wines to pair with our menu,” he said.

People can visit the wine shop on Eighth Street or to learn more.

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