As a young boy, Ryan Jackson, Erna's Elderberry House Restaurant "Chef De Partie," enjoyed spending time in the kitchen helping his grandmother and mother cook.
Jackson enjoyed cooking so much, he enrolled in culinary classes at Yosemite High School, and after graduating in 2006, he was accepted to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Las Vegas. After graduation, he spent two years as an apprentice chef at a Hilton Hotel in Guam. Now, the 26 year-old is lending his talents to the March 8 German Fest, sponsored by the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce.
Jackson has spent the past two months fine-turning the menu and is confident the community will appreciate his efforts. He will be assisted in the kitchen by Yosemite High culinary arts students.
"Everyone who attends the event can expect authentic German food made with the freshest ingredients available," Jackson said.
The four-course menu includes Deutsches Brot (German bread), Gurken Salat (cucumber salad), Graupeneintopf (barley soup), sauerkraut, Rotkohl (cooked apple red cabbage), Kartoffel Kasserole (potato casserole), Bratwurst and Knockwurst (German sausage) and apple strudel for dessert.
A variety of German beers and wines will be available at the no-host bar.
Traditional German music will fill the air during the event.
"Everyone enjoyed the first German Fest last year, and we feel this year's event will be bigger and better," said Darin Soukup, chamber executive director.
"We are looking forward to spending a fun night with members of our community while enjoying good food and live entertainment," Soukup said.
Doug Dearing, former manager of Yosemite Bank and chamber board member, said last year's event was one of the best community events that he has ever attended.
Sierra Tel's Dan Rule, chamber board member and German Feat committee chairman, encourages the community to attend the event.
"This will be an authentic German Feast prepared by Chef Jackson, and the evening will also include entertainment, raffle, live auction and a special batch of beer from South Gate Brewing Co.," Rule said. "Those who attended last year's inaugural event raved about the food and how much fun they had. Seating is limited so don't miss out call the chamber right now for your tickets."
Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner begins at 7 p.m., followed by raffle drawings and a live auction at 8 p.m.
In addition to the chamber, major sponsors are Sierra Tel, Sullivan's Tire Pros, PG&E, Busweiser, and Ed Bailey Realty.
Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, 40637 Highway 41, and Sullivan's Tire Pros, 40126 Highway 49.
Details: (559) 683-7766, oakhurstchamber.com/germanfest.