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Capstone Projects

Global Cuisine; Italy

Turning Points and the Ecological Conscience

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 08:15
Abstract: We live in a time when environmental crises seem to be overwhelming: global climate change, water crises, and mass extinctions, to name a few. Some people seek out ways to address environmental problems, while others remain ignorant or deny the existence of serious issues. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic calls those who help, people who feel “the stirring of an ecological conscience.” Many studies have looked at the psychology of environmentalism and the factors that instill an environmental ethic. Some studies look at early childhood, others at significant turning point events. Many factors foster an ecological conscience among people. I was interested in how the “stirring of an ecological conscience” was instilled in our own community here at Paul Smith’s College. The faculty and students all have a story to tell about what led them here and this project explored that. The sample studied here found that among faculty and students, experiences from childhood played a significant role in the development of an ecological conscience. These experiences most often influenced the path of each participants life journey. These findings provide us with information on ways we can look to help instill the ecological conscience in others, through education and daily life.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Studies
Year: 2016
Authors: Dominic Rickicki

Offal's and Less Popular Cuts

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 09:39
Abstract: The research question I develop and base my capstone project was based around the trend and concept of nose to tail dinning. I wanted to find out if using offal’s and second cuts of meat and could these items be suited for a family restaurant. I will also try to see if using offal’s and cross utilizing ingredients throughout the menu to cut down on waste, be cost effective and appeal to the guest. My menu will reflect the proper cuts of meat as well as providing the least waste. My methods will revolve around the practical use of my time given the restraints of my question as well as see if the theme can be practical within industry standards.
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Chad Blinebry

Vermont VS Canadian, A study of the differences between Vermont and Canadian syrup

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 20:07
Abstract: The research question for this capstone is one that I have long pondered. Can someone taste the difference between Vermont and Canadian syrup? The inspiration to use this as my capstone question came on the first day of class when chef Pino gave us an example of a capstone question, it was “Can you tell the difference between grade A light maple syrup and grade B?” upon hearing this I decided to use this capstone as a chance to test my long standing theories. As the question implies the menu uses entirely maple syrup based dishes with an even balance between the two types. There are two chicken based dishes that were used for the tasting. By using two identical dishes I hoped to better allow the tasters to make the call as to whether or not the two syrups are noticeably different. The menu also includes pork, beef and a pasta dish that all feature Maple syrup or sugar as a major part of the recipe. The questions to the patrons are designed to tell me if people could taste any difference between the two dishes and if there was any reasons other than the maple flavor that could have accounted for this. Also, if they could taste a difference between the two plates, could they distinguish which one is from where?
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Ryan Gingras

Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed Beef

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 08:29
Abstract: Popular in the media today are chefs that boast only the best ingredients, but can the consumer even tell? The question being tested is this, can the average American taste the difference between grass fed beef and commercial beef, with the grass fed being more expensive? This concept is beneficial to explore for two main reasons. Number one, if there is a noticeable difference; culinary professionals will want to use the best ingredients they can find because people can taste the quality. Number two, if the guest can’t tell the difference between two cuts of meat that vary significantly in price, why would chefs waste money on it? To test this theory I will be providing a sample of plates with same cut of beef however one raised on grass and the other on corn and grain. There will be a simple and short survey asking the guest to vote on their favorite dish and why they liked it. With this information, gathered from random people with varying age and gender, it will provide evidence for or against the use of grass fed beef in our restaurants today.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Brandon Horner

A Maple Comparison By Tyler Sheridan

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 13:56
Abstract: Being in the northeast especially during this time of year allows you to witness some of the rarest and yet oldest tradition to the area, the time of year where the tree are struck and harvested for the sugary liquid as they begin to wake up for the spring and summer seasons. Sugaring season is in full swing running from the first thaw to the sprouting of tree buds, smoke stacks bellow from pockets of forest as farmers scramble to collect every drop while it still runs. With a tradition that dates back to the Northeast back to the time of Eastern settlers and Native America’s it’s only been of late that the production of syrup has come short to the consumer demand. Hence the introduction of artificial maple syrup, brands like: Aunt Jemima, Kellogg’s, and Log Cabin the market has been saturated with corn syrup imitation at a lower price point. This competition in the market has led to people come up with a preference to one over the other with equal group on both sides. However they all agree that one taste different than the other, does this make artificial maple syrup an imitator or a substitute. It is said that Maple Syrup is the only flavor that cannot be recreated in an artificial manner, which would give substance to the statements of the syrup tasting differently. I am curious to know if there truth behind the whole debate. To solve the question I will put three plates of breakfast themed dishes. Each course will feature two identical plates per course, one using real syrup, the other featuring artificial syrup, I will ask a panel of culinary and maple based experters to find out which plate they think has a better maple flavor and appropriate texture. All of this done without telling them which plate contains the real and which has the imitation. If the panel states that each plate has the same level of maple flavor than it would debunk the speculations of different tasting syrups. However If the panel states that the two plates taste differently than I could conclude the imitation has a different taste than the real.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Tyler Sheridan

The five senses, and the roll of each during dining

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 14:54
Abstract: My vision for my capstone project, is to identify all five senses. Vision, smell, sound, sight, and taste, and highlight each one for a more harmonious dining experience. People often times only focus on the sense of taste and smell while eating. Some focus on vision, with flashy plating styles. But not often enough do people engage all five senses. Not often enough do people think about all the different aspects that tie into gastronomy. Everything from the way food is harvested or foraged to what a certain sound or smell reminds you of is what makes food/cooking one of the last remaining forms of art left in the world. And we need to embrace it. My vision for the first course would be to serve duck bacon, with a candied egg yolk on top of toasted baguette with maple espresso butter. The plate will come out with a hot stone and the bacon would be raw, so when the plate is presented the idea is to sear your own bacon. As a kid I used to love waking up to the sound and smell of sizzling bacon, so my focus for this course would be to bring the panel back to being at home and having mom cook you bacon. For my second course will have a small salad of pea shoots and arugula, dressed with olive oil and orange juice, served with goat cheese, hazelnut praline, orange balsamic vinegar, and herb smoke. The herb smoke is what will make this the “smell” course. With a food smoking gun, ill add lavender, citrus zest and herb stems for a floral scent that will remain on the pallet until the end of the course. My goal is to capture the smoke with clear glass bowls to place over the salad, add the smoke and allow the panel to take off the lid. When removed the smoke will settle up leaving the air smelling like lavender and herbs, enhancing the flavor of every component of the salad. The third course is almost like a pallet cleanser/ awakener (because the second course will be heavy on the mouth and nose.) But it also will enhance the next course. The concept would be the sense of touch/ feel. I remember as a kid going on vacation to Maine with my family and we would go out during low tide and collect oysters on the beach. They feel weird in your hand, and even weirder in your mouth, which makes it perfect for this course. The raw oyster will provide a slimy gelatinous mouth feel complimented by a sweet/spicy/sour kimchi style cabbage which will provide an umami sensation in your mouth and throat. My fourth course will be a butter poached mahi mahi, served with caramelized fennel, snap pea foam, blanched rainbow carrots and truffle oil. The sense I am trying to highlight in this dish is vision. Vision is not typically the first sense used during dining, and from my experiences food always tastes better when it’s thoughtfully plated, colorful, and exciting. So for this one there is no flash or fancy techniques, it’s just a simple & classic dish done right and plated beautifully. And my last course will be a pomegranate Cosmo sphere with fiori salt, and edible flowers. The taste sense, my inspiration for this one was from a dining experience I had at WD-50 in New York City. It was originally an intermezzo and it wasn’t a sphere, it was a sorbet, so I’ve taken this idea and I want to finish the meal with a colorful, sweet & salty pop of pomegranate that will cleanse the pallet and leave the mouth feeling bright and refreshed rather that drowned by fats and sugars (like most desserts.)
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Kurt Boyea

Healthy Food Truck Menu, in a Festival Setting

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 15:57
Abstract: How could more nutrient dense food be served to a large number of people in a food truck, while maintaining a low cost to the customer and seller alike in an outdoor event setting? When in a music festival setting for example, there are a number of people that go without food, or eat very minimal meals that contain almost no nutritional value over the course of two to three days. Small snacks or one or two meals in two to three days can really take a toll on the body, especially in a party type of event like a music festival. One of the reasons for this is healthier food comes with a cost, the proposed menu is low cost, nutrient dense, flavor packed food that can be carried around easy by festival/ outdoor event goers. The research method used would be a survey to the panel about how much it means to them to have healthy foods or not, how much would this person be willing to spend for the healthier option, if they thought the tasting was a healthier option, and of course taste of the food. With a quick look at catering, and a great deal of information on the food truck trend, where it’s going, and what is being done. This is a chance to tie together the two of the fastest growing trends in the industry, food trucks and health food in a way that could be sold at an affordable cost to the customer, and still be cost effective to the vendor in an outdoor event setting.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Logan Beem

The Vegan Experiment

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 16:43
Abstract: The vegan diet has a reputation as extremely light and unsatisfying “rabbit food.” In reality, eating a vegan diet can be satisfying to the palate and the belly. Health benefits of a vegan diet include reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic ailments, plus weight reduction, increased energy, and better sleep patterns. However, Americans tend to believe that they cannot get proper nutrition without animal products. Studies have shown that proper nutrition can be achieved through a whole foods plant based diet. The meal I presented was designed for carnivores to test whether they missed animal products in the dishes served.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Carrie Oderman

Subtle Differences

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 19:41
Abstract: Our sense of smell and taste work together to allow us to taste and differentiate between different flavors in food. This study was designed to determine the effects of introducing aromatics during the dining experience. Can aromatics change the customer's perception of the flavors or ingredients in a dish? The method used to gather data for the study was a tasting consisting of ten taste panelists. Guest panelists were kept unaware of what the topic was until after the tasting was finished. The two plates in the first course, as well as the second course, were identically prepared so that an aroma could be introduced during the second tasting of the two courses. Each taste panelist received a tasting card containing suggestive statements regarding the texture, flavor, creativity, quality, and professionalism of the dishes presented. Based on a five level Likert-type scale, the tasting card statements required the panelists to circle numbers corresponding to what level they agreed or disagreed with each statement. The final question asked the panelists to choose what the most apparent difference was between the two dishes of each course. In both courses, flavor and ingredient were the options predominately chosen as the most apparent differences.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Alyssa Fredericks