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      Trio Dinner brings top chefs of present, future together

      More than 250 tickets were sold to this year's Trio Dinner.

      Michael Bianca, a senior at the Academy for Technology and Academics, has a dream. He wants to open his own Italian restaurant.

      "I just like that feeling of just messing with a pot," he said. "I love to grill steak. It's always been my favorite."

      Monday night, Bianca got a taste of what it would be like if his dream came true.

      More than 250 people attended the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association's Trio Dinner at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. This is the fifth year for the event.

      "It's quite fun. I like seeing people's reaction to what I cook and bake," Bianca said.

      10 chefs from local restaurants paired with 20 Horry Georgetown Technical College and high school students from the Academy for Technology and Academics.

      "It's an amazing mentoring program. I think we talk a lot about Myrtle Beach as a great vacation destination and a big part of that is also the culinary aspect," Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association President and CEO Stephen Greene says.

      Gourmet menu items included dishes like Lobster Risotto with Andouille Sausage and Country Ham, Omaha Tenderloin stuffed with Fuji Apple & Fennel Roasted in Bacon, and Krispy Kreme Donut Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans.

      "It replicates the commercial aspect of culinary," Michael's teacher, Sally Loveland said. "It brings another dimension to the instruction and gives {the students} a chance to network."

      In addition to the real world cooking lesson, a portion of the money raised by the event goes back into a scholarship fund for culinary students. In the past five years, more than $18,000 in scholarships has been given to culinary students.