Morrisville State College students serve up five-star service during “Hops and Chops” dinner at Copper Turret
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It was Delroy Young’s first experience preparing a five-course dinner. The Morrisville State College student selected two fried slices of zucchini from a large bowl, placed them atop a creamy beer cheese soup, then topped it with a chipotle crème fraiche and pea shoots.
“Looks good. Looks good,” said Chef Kerry Beadle as he peered over his shoulder.
Next to Young, fellow students were stirring pans filled with savory sauces and counting out sets of dishes for a succulent meal about to be served at the Copper Turret Restaurant, located in the village of Morrisville.
The dinner was the second Hops and Chops event served up by Morrisville State College hospitality students in the Managing Entertainment Venues class taught by Dr. John D. Felton, assistant professor of hospitality.
The elaborate endeavor was a hands-on learning experience students cooked up as a class project which paired a five-course meal with local beer. Students had their hand is all aspects of planning the dinner, from scheduling, negotiating, budgeting and marketing, to developing advertising and event operations.
The impressive menu, which highlighted local New York State foods, was created by Beadle, executive chef at the Copper Turret and chair of Morrisville State College’s Hospitality Technology Department.
Savory scents emanating from the popular eatery filled the outdoor air and shadows of students were visible through the windows setting tables for their diners—24 guests in for a memorable night of culinary delights.
Lisa Portantino, of Long Island, drove five hours to visit her daughter, Kristina Portantino, a resort and recreation management student who was introducing beers that accompanied each course.
“I found the menu very interesting and I love craft beer so I timed the event with a visit,” Lisa Portantino said. “I hear the duck meatballs are really good here,” she added. “This is definitely worth the trip.”
The evening was an unforgettable experience for hospitality students who were able to hone their kitchen and customer service skills, and sharpen their time-management and communications skills.
Young, a resort and recreation service management student from Binghamton, got a taste of working the back end of a restaurant for the first time. “I cook pancakes and eggs at home, but that is the extent of it. This is all new to me.”
Hayley Klein, of Eaton, a resort and recreation management student who’s planning a career in hotel event planning, knows the invaluable experience will add spice to her resume.
“It is great to have this hands-on experience, something a lot of people will never have when they go into the workforce,” she said.
“This is adding the event-planning aspect to my array of skills,” said Michael Leming, a resort and recreation management bachelor degree student from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “Planning then working the actual event is a really cool experience.”
Among the dinner guests were faculty and staff from the college. “It’s nice to see them come out to support us,” Felton said.
The menu consisted of: New York State Beer Cheese Soup, laced with local cheddar cheeses and pale ale, paired with Saranac Pale Ale; Belly Mac and Cheese, baked Fontina Spätzle and beer cheese with candied beer-braised pork belly, paired with Good Nature Blonde; duck meatballs in a pancetta porter cream sauce over sweet potato gnocchi, paired with Brown’s Maple Ale; Char Siu Pork Chop-Five Roses Farm award-winning pork marinated and basted with a beer infused Chinese sticky barbeque, paired with Ommegang Hop State; and Grown-ups Cream Puff, a Profiterole filled with a hop-infused ice cream and topped with a local honey/stout caramel sauce, paired with Empire Hop Trail.
The following resort and recreation service management students planned and participated in the event:
Caci Day, of Sherburne
Kristina Portantino, of Long Island
Jaimie Smith, of Sauquoit
Hayley Klein, of Eaton
Michael Leming, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Delroy Young, of Binghamton
Daniel DellaVecchia, of Goshen
Joseph Marso, of Hamilton
Ryan Meyers, of Brewerton
Casey O’Hare, of Saratoga