Hospitality students host annual dining series


Alexis Lovewell, Contributing writer

Each year, senior Hospitality majors get to showcase their dedication and skills during the Hospitality Meal Series. The series is part of the Hospitality Manage-ment major’s capstone course, Advanced Food Service Management, and Lab. This series allows students to create a personal three-course meal from scratch and serve it to the public, where even family and friends that do not live on campus can attend. This course is offered for seniors and juniors each semester. The course’s beginning is dedicated to students brainstorming what they want to do for their senior meal, which includes an appetizer, en-trée, and a dessert. This year the Fall Dining Series looks a little different because of precautions that had to be taken regarding COVID-19, including the seating of guests to allow for social distancing, policies for mask-wearing, and limits on who can attend the meals. Allyson Minor, assistant professor of Hospitality, and Chef Meghan and Chef Dunne oversee the labs. Once all of the students know what they would like to do for their meal, Minor assigns the dates to prepare and serve their meals to the public. Each student will prepare and serve their meal twice. These meals are served on Mon-day and Wednesday evenings starting at 5 p.m. and usually last for about an hour. This dining series allows the students to get the chance to prepare the meal two times to ensure if they made any mistakes during the first meal, they can adjust and create an im-proved dinner. However, due to preparation and help from staff and classmates, things usually go right the first time. There is a large variety of the various meals offered during this meal series. This is because students often base their meal on something close to their heart, be it the cuisine from their home-town or a recipe that is special to them. Each student is responsible for filling as many seats as possible a week before their meal day. Unfortunately, due to COVID, students can only have 14 total guests to ensure that they continue to practice social distancing proto-cols. The student-made meals only cost $7 for students and $9 for faculty members, which covers all three courses you are served. Cashless pay is recommended, but you can also pay using dining dollars, so payment is flexible for students. This semester, there is a flyer that lists all of the senior meal series for Fall 2020. Because the meals are not open to the public like in the past, this is not being advertised widely, but people can see the dining meal series menus with this article or if one of the students advertises it online. For many students, this is an exciting time because they can show off everything they have learned, and it is a hands-on experience for them. Senior June Durkee hosted her first meal on Sept. 21. Her theme was Chinese food, with her meal being named “A Taste of China.”Durkee said that her favorite part was getting to try new foods from all of the other meals be-cause each meal has a unique variety that makes them superior to each other. She also loved seeing the excitement on her customers’ faces when they tried new dishes as part of her meal.