Fall Dining Series begins


Erin Almeter, Staff writer

The Hospitality Management students here at Mercyhurst University will be starting the Fall Dining Series again this year.
According to their page on Mercyhurst’s website, the Dining Series will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until late November.
They take place in the J.W. and Alice Marriott Café on the lower level of the Center for Academic Engagement.

The Marriott Café is a state of the art working classroom for the students who plan, cook and serve the meals. For a three course gourmet meal, the cost is only $13 payable by cash or check. Peter Zohos, professor of Hospitality Management, described the history of the Fall Dining Series.

It originally started back in the mid 1980’s. Instead of being held at the Marriott Café, as it is now, the meals were located at St. Mark’s.
When the Hospitality Management department started to grow in the 1990s as one of the largest majors, the Grotto Dining Room was built, as was an expansion on Sullivan Hall.

The Grotto Dining Room was where the Grill is on the upper level of Grotto Commons.

“This was the location until the Fall of 2012 when the Hospitality Management department ushered in a new era with the opening of the J. Willard & Alice Marriott Café.” Zohos said.

He said it is also important to note that “none of the students on Erie’s campus are culinary students unlike the North East campus.”
He described the Fall Dining Series as a chance for students to create and plan a menu of their choice, order, purchase and receive products as well as plan out the labor and production of the dinner.

“It is a right of passage,” he goes on to say as it is a senior level capstone type course which requires intense focus and several weeks of planning and preparation.

The kickoff meal was managed by senior Hospitality Management major with a concentration in Event Management Victoria Noker on Sept. 13 and she served a maple and apple mixed green salad, maple-glazed salmon with parmesan risotto and crème brûlée.
Noker stated that the idea behind creating and managing the meal in this class is to “get real life commercial kitchen experience before going out and working in the hospitality field.”

It is a group effort of the Applied Service class, who serve in the restaurant atmosphere, and the Advanced Foods classes, who are the head chefs for each individual meal, according to Noker. She invites everyone to attend as the students “put their hearts and souls into their meals” for everyone to enjoy. Her second meal will take place on Oct 23.

Daniel Leonard, a senior Hospitality Management major with a concentration in Event and Hotel Management, adds “having the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned over the past three years is an amazing and a little nerve racking experience.”
He goes on to show appreciation to the other students by saying, “I’m grateful to be able to do it with some of my best friends.” Leonard’s meals will be served on Sept. 18 and Oct. 28.

The full 2019 Dining Series menu with dates of the meals can be accessed at https://www.mercyhurst.edu/sites/default/files/marriott_fall19.pdf.

Reservations can be made by calling 814-824-2565 and can be made by anyone at the university or in the community.
All are welcome to attend. Seating begins between 5 and 5:30 pm. Any questions can be sent to Allyson Schrimper-Minor at marriottcafe@mercyhurst.edu.