Hudson County Community College Foundation Subscription Dining Series Showcases the College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Professors and Students

February 23, 2022

Reservations are now being taken for the eight-luncheon series that begins on February 25.


February 23, 2022, Jersey City, NJ – The perfectly prepared, delicious, world-class cuisine. The impeccable, attentive service. For twelve years businesspeople, community leaders, and area residents have savored the world-class, three-course dining experience of Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Foundation’s Subscription Dining Series. Unbeknownst to diners, their enjoyable experience is the result of months of planning, preparing, training, cooking, and serving by a host of HCCC Culinary Arts Institute (CAI) and Hospitality Management instructors and students.

Nicole Bouknight Johnson, HCCC Vice President for Advancement and Communications, said the HCCC Foundation Subscription Dining Series, which begins anew on February 25, affords diners the opportunity to enjoy delicious, professionally prepared cuisine and exceptional service with business associates, families, and friends for less than $38 per person. “Proceeds from the series provides tuition, book, and knives scholarships for deserving students. Equally important, Culinary Arts Externship III and Hospitality Management Restaurant Operations I and II students perfect and demonstrate their front- and back-of-the house skills, and accumulate 72 hours toward the 300 hours needed for their required externships,” she stated. 

Chef Anuchit Pukdeedamrongrit, better known as “Chef Puk,” has been planning, preparing, and instructing HCCC Culinary students since the Subscription Dining program first began. For four weeks prior to the new-season opening, 15 to 25 students learn about successful back-of-the-house operations from Chef Puk: everything from planning to ordering, prepping, cooking, and elegantly plating food for the appetizer and entrée courses. At the same time, Pastry and Baking Chef Marissa Lontoc works with the students perfecting recipes and making deserts. However, that is just the beginning as Professor Tonja Webb also puts students through the paces of learning and perfecting the front-of-the-house operations – properly serving food, beverages, and wine; and interacting with guests.


Hudson County Community College Foundation Subscription Dining Series Showcases the College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Professors and Students


Chefs Puk and Lontoc and Professor Webb and the students put their knowledge and professionally polished skills to work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on each of the eight Fridays of the Subscription Dining Series. They are often joined by HCCC Culinary Arts alumni who return to give back to the College.

Ann McGovern, a recipient of Jersey City’s Women in Action Award, and Foundation Subscription Dining guest has said: “There’s no place where you can get a meal like this. The food and service are outstanding.” 

HCCC CAI student Erick Alcantra, who has worked the Subscription Dining Series, noted: “The success of Subscription Dining service boils down to one thing: communication. It’s an intricate dance where everyone is on the same page to avoid stepping on each other’s toes. The end result is to make sure the guests feel welcome, comfortable, and important.”

Dr. Ara Karakashian, Associate of Dean Business, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, related that in addition to their externship hours, students are assigned projects and are graded on attendance and the quality of their work. “Our Culinary Arts Institute and Hospitality Management program is ranked number six in the United States by Best Choice Schools, and we are proud to produce graduates who excel in their careers.”

The series’ $1,195 cost reserves a table for four from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on eight Fridays – February 25; March 4, 11, 18 and 25; and April 8, 22, and 29, 2022. The luncheons are held in the finely appointed dining room of the HCCC Culinary Conference Center at 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City, and include appetizer, entrée, and dessert courses as well as non-alcoholic beverages. Beer and wine by the glass are available for an additional cost and must be paid by credit card or cash at the time of service. 

COVID-19 guidelines are in place to protect students, faculty, staff, and guests; face masks must be worn, and social distancing practiced. HCCC health and sanitizing protocols exceed the COVID-19 safety requirements of the CDC and New Jersey.

Reservations may be secured by emailing foundationFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE or calling 201-360-4004. Payments can be mailed to HCCC Foundation, 162-168 Sip Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306.  

The Hudson County Community College Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation providing tax-exempt status to contributors. Established in 1997, the Foundation generates financial support for the College and its students, develops and awards need-based and merit scholarships, provides seed money for faculty programs, assists incoming students in achieving academic success, and provides for the College’s physical growth and the cultural enrichment of Hudson County residents. Since its founding, the Foundation has raised more than $4.2 million for scholarships. The Foundation Art Collection, established in 2006, now includes over 1,700 works – most by nationally and internationally renowned artists.