Student chefs at Art Institute of Houston cook for diners during Houston Restaurant Weeks

Chef Michael Bargas, academic director for the culinary program at the Art Institute of Houston, created menus that are above and beyond what is required to participate in Houston Restaurant Weeks, a fundraiser for the Houston Food Bank. During the event student chefs prepare four courses for lunch (two courses are required) for $20 and six individual plates per diner at dinner (three courses are required) for $35. Chef Bargas demonstrates a roasted brined duck breast and duck confit with lentil ragout and apples.

Houston Restaurant Weeks, a charitable event founded by food radio talk show host Cleverley Stone, takes place from Aug. 1 until Aug. 31, 2012.
Courses at the Art Institute of Houston will donate $3 from each Houston Restaurant Weeks lunch and $5 from each Houston Restaurant Weeks dinner sold to the Houston Food Bank.
Diners can make a $10 donation to the food bank by sending HRW as a text message to 20222. (Message & data rates may apply and all purchases must be authorized by the account holder. For more details, visit .)

Watch the video of the demonstration at

For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston,
listen to Cleverley’s radio show Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM.
(By the way, she gives out restaurant gift cards on every radio show!)

Lentil Ragout with Apples (yields 10 servings)
Chef Michael Bargas, Art Institute of Houston


  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup onion, fine dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup carrot, fine dice
  • ½ cup parsnip, fine dice
  • ½ cup green lentils
  • 2 each bouquet garni
  • 3 ounces white wine
  • 1.25 cups green apples, peeled, seeded, ¼” dice

1. Sauté onion and garlic in butter until translucent.
2. Add all but apples and cook on low heat until lentils are tender.
3. Add apples and season with salt and pepper.

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