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FVCC culinary students serve up savory bites at new pop-up restaurant

by CASEY KREIDER, Daily Inter Lake
| April 16, 2023 12:00 AM

Something new is cooking at Flathead Valley Community College this month.

Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in April, the graduating class of the school’s Culinary Institute of Montana are serving up their own international barbecue cuisine at their lunch pop-up restaurant Smolder in the downstairs instructional kitchen of the Arts and Technology building.

To complete their culinary capstone final project, the student chefs have honed in on a menu of savory entrees, sides, sauces, sandwiches, desserts and drinks that feature gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Whether you’re craving a hefty, juicy brisket sandwich with hoisin baked beans and some kimchi potato salad, or the pulled portobello with a Mediterranean couscous salad and Caribbean pilaf with okra, Smolder has homemade options for the pickiest of palates. Finish it all off with a bolo bao bun or some huckleberry bread pudding and you may want to cancel your dinner plans.

Smolder is open from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch April 19-21 and 26-28. Enter the Arts and Technology building and follow the wafting aromas, and signs, to the downstairs kitchen for on-site dining, or call 406-309-0259 for takeout.

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The 'Smolder' logo on chef Mike Bruner's jacket at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Chef Alexa Wood sprinkles a layer of cheese atop the macaroni and cheese at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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A customer dines on a Jerk Chicken entree at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Flathead Valley Community College Culinary Arts Program Director Chef Manda Hudak speaks with patrons Michelle Williamson and Karen Panissidi after their meals at 'Smolder,' the college's pop-up lunch restaurant operated by its culinary students on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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An pulled pork sandwich is packaged for a takeout order at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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A Cajun Gumbo Bowl on a bed of white rice for an order at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Chef Dan Moe, Baking & Pastry Instructor at Flathead Valley Community College's Culinary Institute of Montana, takes food orders from a line of customers at the school's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder" on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Chef Julieanna Byrd fills a container with Huckleberry Bread Pudding for a customer at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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An order of jalapeno cheddar sausage is packaged for a takeout order at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Michelle Williamson, left, and Karen Panissidi enjoy their meal at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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A takeout order of Honey Ginger Pork Ribs is whisked off to a customer at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Chefs Mackinzie Wilson, left, and Mike Bruner fill orders at Flathead Valley Community College's pop-up lunch restaurant "Smolder," operated by students in the school's Culinary Institute of Montana on Thursday, April 13. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)