Capstone International partners with Kentuck for a la cARTe event

Young residents of Tuscaloosa have a chance to take a culinary trip to Japan without ever leaving Tuscaloosa.

This month’s a la cARTe event, hosted by the Kentuck Museum Foundation, will feature Japanese cuisine, art, artifacts, origami and calligraphy activities for kids. The event will be held at the Kentuck Annex March 20 from noon to 2 p.m.

The foundation partnered with Capstone International for this month’s event, which will be included in the annual Sakura Festival. The festival, held throughout the month of March, honors the ohanami, or viewing of the cherry blossom. This year marks the 24th Sakura Festival.

The UA Japanese club will help with the kids’ activities and Capstone International will provide Kentuck Museum with the art exhibits and Japanese artifacts for display.

Valerie Piette, program manager at Kentuck, said the a la cARTe event is new for Kentuck and has been successful since it began in January. Although the series is just getting started, Piette said between January and February they had about 40 to 50 people attend the tastings.

“Capstone International usually puts on the Sakura Festival, and we thought it would be good to partner with them for this event,” she said.

Piette said the a la cARTe events always try to feature local food.

“The first event featured wood workers doing demonstrations and a local Italian catering company,” she said. “The second featured a Mosaic activity that featured a local bakery from Northport.”

Piette said the cost of the event is $10 for the food, prepared by Kentuck assistant program manager and foodie Lisa Blewitt.

The menu includes mixed salad with Japanese ginger and soy dressing, Japanese savory pancake with vegetables, California rolls, rice balls with marinated chicken, green tea ice cream, toasted black sesame ice cream, and vanilla ice cream with sweet red beans.

“The $10 is for the food, but if you are just coming for the art it is a free event,” Piette said.

Piette said that one of the main goals of Kentuck is to engage the community.

“We are not simply about arts in culture, but we want to reach out to others and so they can understand different cultures,” she said.

Jessica Snow, office associate at Capstone International, said they were happy to support Kentuck.

“The planning for this event is going well and we hope to continue this partnership in the future,” she said.

She said that if students need transportation to the event, they should contact her at Capstone International.

“This will be a good event for kids to go to and enjoy,” she said. “Any event that can include the younger kids is a good thing.”

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