by Ken Keane, Bachelor's in Culinary Arts Management
While “normal college seniors” are writing their 50-page thesis papers, here at The Culinary Institute we are planning our Senior Event. It’s an event which ties together everything that both culinary and baking students at the college should have learned or been exposed to by their senior year including; cooking, baking, marketing, accounting, and table service. For the recent event, “Harvest on the Hudson,” my class chose to showcase local farmers and purveyors across the Hudson Valley, using their products to help create our menu. We decided to donate our proceeds to the local Poughkeepsie Home for Children as well as CIA student scholarships. In total, the event took a little over one month to plan, and along the way my classmates and myself all learned valuable things which not only helped us to execute a successful event, but prepare us that much more for our futures as we leave for the “real world” in December.
Some of the things I learned:
Planning is everything—our motto at the CIA is Mise en Place for Life, meaning "Everything in its place."
We started with ideas, then developed recipes, tested those recipes, and ultimately prepared the final dishes for the event.
Attention to details, every last detail—uniforms, hors d'oeuvre, table settings...
Communication is key.
As a class, we learned so much about not only running an event, but about just how much we all had grown over the course of four years at The Culinary. If someone had said to me when I started college that I would be planning and executing an event for people, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. “It’s the journey that matters in the end.” The Culinary has been a journey for all of us graduating in December and our senior event is just another part of our journey, which we will take with us in our careers ahead.
Check out upcoming senior class dinners. More photos from Harvest on the Hudson: