Last week my coworkers and I had the pleasure of attending a dessert tasting event called A Sweet Ending in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The tasting was for a class called Fundamentals of Cooking (HA243). The students are instructed by Chef Lecturer, Mark Molinaro teaches his students how to plan, organize, and prepare meals in order to turn them into a beautifully crafted edible chef-d’oeuvre.
When we arrived, we found groups of 4-5 students at 8 tables ready to showcase their specific desserts. Each table was exquisitely decorated to match their individually chosen themes and desserts.
We tasted crème brulee that was warmed up with a fiery handheld blow torch in front of our very eyes. The excitement seemed to add to the wonderful creamy flavor. Another table took a simple dessert- a doughnut – and turned it into a perfect combination of sweet and salty by adding bacon bits to the maple glaze that was drizzled over each doughnut. There were plenty of other wonderful tasting desserts such as cream puffs shaped like swans, mini fruit tarts, and creative mini cupcakes topped with orange/caramel popcorn!
This special event allowed the students to present their dessert in an attractive setting and answer any questions that their “customers” may have. It was a great way for them to learn transferrable skills that will prepare them for their future Hotel and Restaurant Management careers. In preparation for this event, they had to bake all of their ingredients the day before, in class. This brought out their skills in planning and organization as they had to demonstrate their creations the very next day. It’s a lot of pressure but the students of HA243 section 1613 definitely pulled through!
This course is one of many courses at NAU that allows students to get hands on knowledge under the guidance of an experienced professional like Chef Molinaro. These transferable skills will give these students the upper hand when it comes time to put on their own Chef hats!
We would like to give Chef Molinaro and his students a final shout out for their delicious desserts and delightful accomplishments this year. We will be waiting anxiously for our invites to next semester’s tastings!