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Capstone Projects

Soulful Dishes - A study of Geechee/Gullah Cooking

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 21:45
Abstract: Every culture has its own cuisine. In the United States, people have emigrated from many different countries. The authenticity and tradition of native food is showcased in various ways. The public has an array of options when it comes to eating different types of food from around the world. Geechee/Gullah (GG) food is not as obtainable. This research is based on the origin and culture of GG people, how their culture is expressed through their cuisine, cooking techniques, and authentic signature dishes. Under the guidance of Chefs Michael Carmel, Kevin Mitchell, and Charlotte and Frank Jenkins, each of whom have experience and knowledge of the subject, the outcome will produce signature dishes that will be available for the public to taste. Exploratory research consisting of interviews and field notes will be the research methods used. Signature dishes and a presentation will provide the general audience with information and awareness of GG cuisine.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Jacqueline Hite

"Farm-to-Table"

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 16:51
Abstract: "Farm-to-Table" has proven to be a major trend in the foodservice industry in the past decade. According to restaurant.org the top two trends for 2012 are locally sourced meats and produce. When referring to the literature review on the subject, it is clear that this trend involves numerous aspects. The purpose of this capstone is to come up with a conclusion as to what aspects a younger demographic, namely the 18-25 age group, view as the most important in this growing trend. Information will be gathered from surveys handed out to customers at Eat-N-Meet in Saranac Lake, NY (the local "Farm-to-Table" restaurant) as well as surveys sent to the student population at Paul Smiths College. With the compiled information, a chef or restaurateur involved with the trend in the next couple decades can hope to realize what future customers of this age group will be looking for when dining out at a "Farm-to-Table" establishment.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Ealy Final Capstone.doc
Authors: Justin Ealy

Age and its Effects on Taste: Does age play a factor in tea preference?

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 13:23
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if age was a factor with consumer’s taste buds between the flavors of neutral oolong tea, vegetative green tea, mild white tea and astringent black tea. The method used to retrieve this data was a tea tasting, pared with surveys. The results were compiled in a series of charts. This study was based on age to assist restaurateurs with making a decision of what tea to offer in their establishment. Tea drinkers were surveyed, as well as participated in a tea tasting to decide the answers to these questions.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Kathryn Woehrle

Food Allergies: How might a chef's creative vision be influenced by mandated food allergy legislation?

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 12:57
Abstract: It is estimated that one in twenty-five Americans suffers from a food allergy. As a result Massachusetts State Legislation has set a precedent by creating food allergen training laws to ensure safe food handling practices. This study seeks to determine if and how mandated food allergy legislation might affect a chef’s creative vision. Data concerning food allergies will be collected from: professional chefs and restaurant customers who suffer from a food allergy in the form of a survey. The information will demonstrate if chefs are proactively adapting their restaurant menus before having to be reactive to government mandated regulations. This study will also raise awareness of the prevailing number of food allergies.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: GORSKI FINAL CAPSTONE.docx
Authors: Jeffrey Gorski

Self-Actualization through the use of food

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 12:19
Abstract: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a table consisting of human needs according to necessity; in order to reach a new level, needs of the previous level must be met first. Among the physiological needs located at the bottom of the pyramid, is food. Food can be controlled unlike other biological needs and therefore may play a crucial role in reaching the ultimate goal of self-actualization. The purpose of this capstone is to show how food can go beyond the need of hunger, and bring us to a self-actualizing moment. The surveys will be conducted to gather statistics and opinions of outdoor recreationists and other relevant professionals such as chefs and culinary students. The question that is going to be answered through this capstone is: Is food preparation and consumption an enriching and exciting enough experience to achieve self-actualization? The results should vary between the two populations, but the ultimate prediction is that food will be shown to be a major factor in the achievement of self-actualization. The significance of this study is to reach a new level of understanding about the importance of food to the human body, and show that food can bring that self-actualizing moment without meeting all the other needs of the pyramid beforehand.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Stephanie Curtis

Cornopoly A Study of a Cost Effective and Corn-free Menu

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 11:50
Abstract: In the past ten years the price of corn has quadrupled as the result of the increasing demand for corn. Today, there are wide ranges of items being produced that include corn as an essential ingredient. This project looked into developing ways to help food service establishments to remain cost effective despite the increased price of corn and thus corn derived products. For this project we held a blind taste test meal to find consumer preference. During the meal we supplied questionnaires to collect data on preferences. We found that the price of corn had not reached a high enough point to force a change to non-corn derived products; however, we felt that through statistical forecasting, the price of corn would rise to a point that would not allow restaurants to remain cost effective.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Final Capstone Paper.doc
Authors: Jeffrey Dineen, Matthew Cusimano

Perception Connection - Defining Local Food, and the Gap Between Chefs and Consumers

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 11:01
Abstract: With increasing numbers of restaurants using the word “local” on their menus, and consumers seeking out farmers markets and purveyors who label their products as local, it has become necessary to take a closer look at just what is being talked about. When a chef puts the word local next to his featured dish of the day, what does that mean to him? Conversely, what does a customer reading that menu expect to be getting on their plate? Currently, there are no government regulations for the use of the “local” description, unlike “organic” and “all-natural” foods. Since there are no legal expectations, it is at the discretion of the chefs to decide how they will market certain items, and in the minds of the consumers what they expect to be consuming based upon an image. This capstone will explore, through the use of surveys, distributed to both culinary professionals, and culinary consumers, what their expectations of a locally sourced food item are. The results of these queries will demonstrate whether there is a gap between the two facets. The project does not seek to establish a basis for regulation, but rather to explore the ideals of two symbiotic groups. The conclusions based upon what this project discovers will educate both chefs and consumers on commonly accepted standards in local food. It will also offer them the opportunity to evaluate any gaps between standards, and decide how they might approach using or buying “local” food. 
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Capstone project.docx
Authors: Kelcey Rusch

Pop Up Restaurants: Are They Here to Stay? A Study of Consumer and Professional Awareness and Future Demand

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:23
Abstract: The focus of this study is to determine in the next 10 to 15 years if pop up restaurant will become a new permanent venue. This study provides information for professionals and people entering the restaurant industry for potential job opportunities. Pop ups are a style of restaurant that takes over a venue for a short period of time (48 hours to a week). This research is based on professional willingness to enter the pop up industry and research measuring consumer knowledge of pop ups and future demand. Research is based on surveys filled out by the general population, and surveys to restaurant professionals.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Capstone.doc
Authors: De Anna Wasiewski

A MULTI-SCALE EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS OF FOREST HARVESTING FOR WOODY BIOFUELS ON MAMMALIAN COMMUNITIES IN A NORTHERN HARDWOOD FOREST

Fri, 02/01/2013 - 16:19
Abstract: Forest harvesting and subsequent effects on forest structure have been shown to influence mammalian community assemblages and the abundance of individual species, however less attention has been paid to the implications of how harvested timber is used. This is particularly relevant in the Northern Forest, where a considerable portion of the forest harvesting is used to produce biofuels. Biofuels harvesting typically involves the process of whole-tree chipping which may lead to a dramatic reduction in the amount of woody material in the form of slash and coarse woody debris (CWD) left in harvested stands. The goal of our study was to assess the effects of biofuels harvesting on forest structure and subsequent effects on mammalian community structure and abundance. To address this goal, we focused on a ~35 Ha area of partially-harvested northern hardwood forest in the northern Adirondacks, New York. To sample mammals we used a combination of Sherman traps and track plates established at two scales across stands within this area. Our results showed that the response of small mammals to changes in forest structure is both species and scale specific. At the individual trap scale, CWD, slash, and understory cover were important drivers of the occurrence of individual species of small mammals. At the larger “grid” scale, small mammal relative abundance was driven by canopy cover and the density of woody stems. Our results indicate that the current harvesting practices used for biofuel production in the Adirondacks are unlikely to result in declines in abundance of common small mammal species. However, the retention of some slash post-harvest may be beneficial to some species, thus foresters may want to include slash retention when developing silvicultural prescriptions.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2012
Authors: Cody Laxton, Alisha Benack, Danielle Ball, Scott Collins, Sam Forlenza, Richard Franke, Stephanie Korzec, Alec Judge, Connor Langevin, Jonathan Vimislik, Elena Zito

The Distribution of Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus) in Northern New York State in Relation to the Availability of Habitat Types

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 18:55
Abstract: Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), a bird of prey species, are widely distributed throughout the United States generally at low densities. Harriers are found in New York State, although they are less common than in the Midwest. As the harrier is a species of concern in some regions, it is important to understand how land cover types can affect the distribution of Northern Harriers over time, within a given area. Specifically, this study investigated whether the distributions of Northern Harriers are dependent upon habitat type, and if the frequency of habitat types significantly affects the abundance of Northern Harriers. The area selected for this study includes the majority of New York State to the North and East of Watertown. This region was selected because data indicates that harrier populations have declined from 1980 to 2005. In addition, this region encompasses mountainous areas as well as lower, relatively flatter land outside of the Adirondacks which represents most of New York State. Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems were utilized to determine land cover types for the region. These land cover types were then combined with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Breeding Bird Atlas survey blocks. Dominant cover types for each survey block were determined, and the region as a whole was compared to survey blocks within which harriers were present. This process was completed for the years 1984 and 2005, two years in which the Breeding Bird Atlas data were collected for New York State. By using Remote Sensing and GIS, a clearer understanding of the relationship between cover type frequency and harrier presence was possible. Results indicate that Northern Harriers are significantly selecting habitat from land cover types in a proportion different to that which is available. Land cover in this region has shifted throughout the time covered in this study. In addition, a trend of open habitat being chosen over closed canopy habitat is evident. Understanding harrier selection of land cover types can greatly affect management strategies, practices and funding, as the specie is listed as threatened in New York State. The results of this study support much of the available scientific literature on harriers, which state that harriers require a combination of open canopy habitats, including early successional habitat with low vegetative cover.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry, Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2012
Authors: Kelly Hoffman