Hospitality Dining Series returns

Bella Lee, Staff writer

One of the most important and cultivating parts of a Hospitality Management student’s time at Mercyhurst is the Hospitality Dining Series. For many seniors, this is a chance to showcase the skills that they have learned over the past four years and present them to the public. The Dining Series kicks off on Feb. 23, where Kelly Lupton will present an Afternoon Tea-themed meal, which will also be served on March 30.

Additionally, on March 2 and April 13, Patrick Rooney will present a meal titled “The Steaks Are High Here!” JJ Valle-Smith will present a Florida Fiesta on March 16 and April 20, and Laura Kunz will present Family Memories on March 23 and April 27. The final culminating meal, presented by the Advanced Food and Baking classes, will be Star Warsthemed and served on May 4. “The dining series to me is just showing what skills you have even if you’ve never done this before,” said Rooney, a senior Hospitality Management major.

“It’s so important because it’s not just for school credit; this is something you can do for your lifetime like cooking food on a regular basis.” Since Hospitality Management covers a wide range of careers, from restaurants to hotel management, the Hospitality Dining Series is a great way to show off how these skills can be used in multiple sectors. “The skills I’ve been learning through one of the courses teaches you what’s it like to work in the food service industry,” said Rooney. “What I enjoy about this department is the people I meet and know that the department is here to help when you feel stuck. With the dining series, I just enjoy learning something that I never thought I had the skills for— cooking.”

The Dining Series is open to anyone that wants to explore different palettes. Each meal is served promptly at noon, with doors opening at 11:50 am, and pricing ranges between $11 and $15 per guest, depending on which meal you attend. This is a great way to support the Hospitality Management Department, so mark your calendars if you are interested in attending any one of these. If you are currently an Undecided major, consider studying Hospitality Management. This requires a positive attitude, great personable skills, and a desire to serve others. Through the Hospitality Management program, you will have the opportunity to practice your customer service skills through activities such as this Dining Series.

Additionally, last semester the Hospitality Management students had the opportunity to serve the Mercyhurst Community in Grotto Commons by serving the food and walking around making sure that everyone was having a positive dining experience. The program has great instructors who have real-world experience in the Hospitality industry, such as Pete Zohos who has served people such as Billy Joel and Jennifer Lopez.
Students interested in this program can reach out to Zohos at his email, Even if you just want to talk about what the program offers or what courses are offered, consider emailing him. After all, the program is built on making sure people feel welcomed, so the professors love to practice this with their students! Or, if you are not too interested in the program for you but want to support the students who are a part of such a popular program, then consider attending this dining series event to have some good food, good company, and the best hosts!