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District 21: Fine Dining

Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s Rockwell Campus is home to a restaurant offering a fine dining experience that rivals any in the state.
District 21: Fine Dining

District 21: Fine Dining

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District 21 Restaurant

Francis Tuttle Technology Center


Show Details

Show 1618: District 21: Fine Dining
Air Date: May 1, 2016



Rob: Well, tucked away on the Rockwell Campus of Francis Tuttle Technology Center, is District 21 – a little restaurant named after the tech center’s funding district. And what you will find inside is a fine dining experience that rivals any in the state.

Courtney Maye: It’s a five-star restaurant experience with a two-star restaurant price. Students in the culinary program at Francis Tuttle Technology Center are getting a taste of what being a chef is all about.

Carlos Martinez: We taste everything together. We try to be a whole cohesive unit that’s serving other people as if they were part of our family.

Courtney: Tuesday through Friday from 6 to 8:30, you can catch Carlos Martinez behind the scenes at District 21, prepping his students for the restaurant industry.

Martinez: I ask far too much, and they deliver much more than I think they think that they can deliver, and it works out because when they leave here, someone’s gonna ask that same thing of them, to deliver what they don’t think they can, and they’ll have to, and if you’re prepared for that then you’re prepared for that.

Courtney: It’s a 12-week program filled with real world restaurant scenarios – a recipe for student success.

Martinez: Pretty much every week I change the menu to just continuously strive to make better dishes, to give my students more experience in different things. We try to keep it fun and a little playful, too. That helps with everybody, the dining experience, it helps with the students. They want to learn new things, and when it’s something that’s fun, it’s a little bit easier to enjoy what’s going on.

Courtney: The menu changes weekly, but the house specialty remains the same. The ribeye steak at this price point is a rare find, and the taste is well done.

Martinez: You’ll forget very quickly that this is a class. The food isn’t representational of what you’d think a class being. The service isn’t representational. You kind of forget that you’re even at a school for the time that you’re here.

Courtney: All of the items on the menu are made from scratch, so when the students arrive for their shift it’s go time.

Martinez: They’re gonna stroll in at 4 o’clock. They got two hours to be fully prepped for the night, and then we’re go. And that’s kind of how it would normally be for you if you were out in industry. They have that mindset, and that mindset is what’s gonna separate you from the person who may have the same skill set, but if you have the right mentality you’re gonna go much further.