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MVCC hospitality students prepare lunches for public

Mike Jaquays
Staff writer
Posted 10/14/22

Culinary arts management and food service administration students at Mohawk Valley Community College welcome connoisseurs of fine food to their weekly luncheons.

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MVCC hospitality students prepare lunches for public


ROME — Culinary arts management and food service administration: restaurant management students at Mohawk Valley Community College welcome connoisseurs of fine food to their weekly luncheons Wednesdays on campus.

And in addition to enjoying a gourmet meal, guests will also help the students gain invaluable hands-on experience in their fields as they prepare and serve those meals and desserts.

The luncheons are designed to offer the students a creative outlet to put into practice and expand on what they have learned in class. They have decided together the themes, recipes, menu items and even the table appearance. They then prepare and serve the weekly four-course meal.

Hospitality program Director Vincent Petronio said three classes are working in tandem for the luncheons, including Joann DeTraglia’s dining room service class, David Hoffman’s food preparation 3 class and Andrew Glidden’s pastry techniques and practices class. Their goal is to create a mock restaurant environment for a real-world educational setting.

“This gives them the chance to see what actual food service looks like,” Petronio said. “Most of these students have never worked in a fine dining setting before so this will be a great asset to their training.”

This is the first year for actual in-person meals, after a couple years offering only takeouts, he added.

MVCC first-year culinary arts management major Tyler Hall said they had a practice meal prepared for faculty so the students could work out any issues and address any of the diners’ “complaints” two weeks before opening the luncheons to the public. They have also had six or seven weeks of classroom study.

“We prepared for a lot of different scenarios that we might find in serving a meal,” Hall said.

The menu on their Oct. 12 inaugural day featured vegetable or cream of celery soup; caesar or garden salad; and entree choices of chicken and waffles, a shrimp po’boy sandwich, an open-faced meatball sandwich, a roasted pork quesadilla or a veggie burger. Desserts included sweet dessert nachos with guacamole ice cream, flourless chocolate tart or shortbread raspberry-lemon tart.

Sweet bread with a maple cinnamon spread and beverages were also included.

Luncheons are Wednesdays through Nov. 16. Seatings are at 11:45 a.m., noon and 12:15 p.m. in the Dining and Community Hall on the college’s Rome campus, 1101 Floyd Ave.

The cost is just $18, tax included, as the program is only seeking to cover its own expenses in preparing the meals. They accept cash or credit card and tips are accepted. They also welcome constructive criticisms and supply a survey form to each diner.

While their classroom studies might be educational, the true hands-on experience of actually preparing and serving the meal — for real live customers — makes those lessons come alive for the students.

“This gives them all the practical skills they will need to know,” DeTraglia said. “They are being shown every aspect of the customer service experience.”

Reservations for up to four people can be made by calling Dustin Swiss at 315-334-7720 or visiting


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