Doing ~ Tasting Events

Posted: Thursday, November 6th 2014 at 4:02 PM

By Megan Dressler, Student Writer

Chef Mark Molinaro of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (SHRM) has his students host four tasting events throughout October and November in order to show off their cooking skills to the NAU community. The events help students gain hands-on experience in creating dishes from scratch and building a brand based around the dish.

The first of these events, called “Savvy Soups,” was held on October 6, 2014 in SHRM’s Marriott Demonstration Kitchen. The event was attended by members of the NAU faculty and staff, as well as by NAU President Rita Cheng.

[Photo caption: Savvy Soups Tasting lures NAU President Rita Cheng and husband, Tom Cheng, to sample the savory delights.]

Students turned their cooking stations into mini restaurants, theming their station around their soup. For example, one group chose Clam Chowder, so they dressed as sailors and built a New England-themed setting. Each group developed a different back story for their restaurant, a uniform to wear, and literature to distribute. The remaining tasting events are “Meat Madness” followed by “Pastapalooza” and the semester rounds out with dessert tasting at “Sweet Endings.”

Chef Molinaro is pleased with the impact that these events have on the students, observing that it not only allows them to learn how to cook beyond following a recipe, but also how to build a brand, create marketing materials, and, as he says, “use hospitality-related skills that they’re learning.”

One student called the series of events “Awesome,” while student Juliet Hilinski said, “We’re having fun. It’s a lot of fun!”  The students are excited to show off their skills while doing what they love: serving dishes that they are proud of while creating a hospitable and inviting environment for their guests.

Categories: flagstaff business news nau business news students fall 2014 2014 tasting events savvy soups