Press Releases

Etheridge and Weaver Complete Culinary Capstone Project

Ronald Etheridge and Taylor Weaver recently presented their capstone project for the Associate in Applied Science – Culinary Arts program.

The Culinary Arts department and student chefs were hosts to eight judges for the presentation of a six-course meal.

“These students have been preparing for this moment for 2.5 years,” said Chef Carlo Quagliaroli, Culinary Arts Instructor/Chef. “The capstone is the final project in which they will apply everything they have learned in the program.”

Each chef’s meal consisted of an appetizer, salad, bread, intermezzo, main course and dessert.

“Students were given a week to prepare and semi-prepare the food items for the capstone. 50% of the food was made the day of the event, and 50% were prepared before the day,” Chef Quagliaroli.

Four judges were placed at two separate tables; each table was presented with a menu from the chef that included recipes, and each student kitchen staff/team took care of the table.

Chef Quagliaroli, known as Chef Q, and Chef Frank Bookhardt (Culinary Arts Instructor/Chef) didn’t throw the students into the “fire” during their capstone. Instead, they continued to teach and deliver expertise on the best techniques and methods when asked.

“Yes, this is truly the opportunity for these students to take all that knowledge they received for 2.5 years, but we are lifelong learners and still want them to do well; therefore, we are still teaching them even in their final moments,” said Chef Bookhardt.

Chef Q and Chef Bookhardt assisted the two students, ensuring that they were utilizing good kitchen practices, time management, and the overall follow-through of the menu.

At the end of the presentation, Chef Q introduced the two student chefs to the judges. Judges were given a moment to give students their rated scores and individual course feedback.

“Both students received positive reviews and constructive feedback as to what would have made their decisions better, which is what we want and will ultimately help our students in their professional journey,” said Chef Q.

On one table, the judges had overwhelming reviews on the Watermelon Basil Sorbet (Intermezzo) and Blueberry Cheesecake (Dessert). The other table enjoyed the Hearty Egg Quiche (Appetizer) and Fortified Stuff Squash w/ Swift “Rushroom” Risotto (Main Course).

Students will graduate with an Associate in Applied Science – Culinary Arts with the ability to obtain three individual certificates: Essential Culinary Skill, Baking and Advanced Catering for Entertaing. Additionally, they receive a Nationally recognized ServSafe Certification from the National Restaurant Association.