July 2006 Issue
Making a Culinary Statement
Diners will find fine cuisine in Nelsonville, thanks to Hocking College's commitment to edible art.
Art comes in many forms and at Rhapsody - fine dining and music on Nelsonville's Public Square - art is a most enjoyable edible. Doug Weber, managing chef, and student chefs from Hocking College's award winning Culinary Arts Institute, have served an impressive list of patrons during their first year of business.
CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante says, "I loved the space, the wonderful dinner and the exceptional staff... I look forward to coming again." Local resident Mike Brooks, Rocky Brands CEO, adds, "I love the fact that we have a first-class restaurant in downtown Nelsonville."
The fine dining establishment has filled a void in the southeast Ohio town. "We didn't have a full service sit-down restaurant on the Public Square until Rhapsody came on the scene. With its fusion cuisine - a combination of upscale regional recipes utilizing products grown locally or throughout Ohio - Rhapsody makes a statement. We also have worked in some recipes from the popular Mediterranean diet to offer patrons more healthful options," Weber says.
Rhapsody is a college capstone experience for students, but only after they've had rigorous training. In the future, some will take part in an international exchange with Rosmini Culinary Institute in Italy or in a language immersion program and work experiences in restaurants in northern Italy.
On-campus educational experiences take place at The Inn at Hocking College. The facility is undergoing extensive renovation to further enhance learning opportunities and will include a high-tech demonstration lab, a meat-cutting area and a bakery. Existing culinary labs will also be updated.
Jerry Allison, president of WATG, the hospitality, leisure and entertainment design firm responsible for Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and the Venetian and the Mansion at MGM Grand, both in Las Vegas, is volunteering his time to give input on the Inn's exterior design.
Nelsonville is gaining a reputation not only as an arts community, but as a place for edible art, as well.