Experience the diversity of myriad cultures that influenced Texas cuisine at the debut of the exhibit, “Potluck Republic: The State of Gastrodiplomacy” on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 11 a.m. in the North Ballroom at Tarrant County College Southeast Campus, 2100 Southeast Parkway in Arlington.
The traveling exhibit will open for display during the TCC Southeast Diversity Awareness Expo and later be relocated to the TCC Southeast Judith J. Carrier Library for viewing in November and December. In addition to exhibits, the Expo will celebrate diversity with demonstrations, performances, panels and presentations by students, faculty and staff.
“Designed to educate students and the community about the history of local food from the original inhabitants of the area to current times, the Potluck Republic exhibit focus was created by representatives from multiple Southeast departments to highlight when different cultures populated the area and how the foods and ingredients they brought changed and enriched the state’s cuisine,” Sally Jinks, Southeast graphics manager and one of the exhibit creators, said in a news release.
Allen Powell, assistant professor of hospitality management and also involved in the exhibit’s development, said in the release that his interest in food history began after learning that the first food trucks date back to the mid-1800s on cattle trails, such as the Chisolm Trail, that traveled through the Fort Worth area.
“After I arrived at TCC, I spent some time researching ‘what is Tarrant County food’ and found our food and cities are ‘a melting pot’ of unique and different foods,” Powell said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 6 to 10 percent faster-than-average growth in the job market for chefs and head cooks, and reported more than 16,000 hospitality management jobs were created in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since August 2017. Currently 205 students are enrolled at TCC Southeast in the Culinary Arts Program and nearly 100 more students are enrolled in hospitality management.
¬– FWBP Staff