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Capstone Projects

Food Allergies, Dietary Restrictions, and the Foodservice Industry

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 22:59
Abstract: For modern culinary professionals, food allergies and restricted diets present one of the biggest challenges in daily work. Ranging from an anaphylaxis-triggering peanut allergy to a preference for avoiding meat on Fridays, dietary restrictions and food sensitivities cover a wide variety of potential hurdles, and potentially inspirational guidelines, which foodservice professionals must navigate in order to be successful. On one side, a rise in the number of those with allergies or dietary restrictions presents an added challenge, but on the other, it presents an opportunity. Diners with such restrictions are becoming more and more comfortable with going out to dinner; that there will be some accommodation is now expected by consumers, rather than hoped for. The definition of “food allergy,” according to the Mayo Clinic, is “an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food.” However, according to many experienced foodservice workers, the definition is “an annoying request from a customer who’s probably lying, anyway.” Of the many challenges contemporary chefs, culinarians, and food service professionals face, food preparation and service for those with allergies and restricted diets is one of the most prevalent, as well as one of the most misunderstood. Foodservice professionals will tell you that some of the most [annoying, silly, overblown, difficult, frightening] requests they receive while working are for special adjustments to accommodate a food allergy. When a chef is asked if the signature pasta dish can be made without gluten, his reaction is too often a mix of ire, disgust, and even embarrassment. Should a patron make a simple request that his or her food be prepared away from peanuts, images of anaphylactic shock and ambulances in the parking lot dance demonically through the front-of-house manager’s head. Such requests, however, seem to be popping up more and more often in our world. According to the CDC, “The prevalence of food allergies among children increased 18% during 1997-2007.” About 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, as well as about 18 million Europeans. With such a rapid increase in those numbers, one would think the opportunity to impress customers with special diets might make a chef happy, rather than feeling as though he has been offended. The patience of chefs grows thinner still, however, when such requests are not a matter of health, but a matter of preference. For those who, for various reasons, adhere to a vegetarian or plant-based diet, or who follow certain religious dietary restrictions such as Islamic Halaal, finding a restaurant where the staff is ready and willing to accommodate can sometimes be difficult. For contemporary food handlers, ethics and morality play a massive role in serving such customers. A vegetarian diner, for example, may not know that the house minestrone soup is made with chicken stock in place of vegetable stock. Even after eating the soup, that customer will likely never know. In such situations, the decision to serve certain foods comes down to how much respect for his or her customers a chef has. It is my belief that the largest contributing factor towards the negative feelings chefs harbor over dietary restrictions is a lack of education and experience in handling such requests. Things unknown have always been a source of anxiety for a majority of human kind. That anxiety is why we are explorers and innovators; we subconsciously want to make things known. In order for foodservice professionals to handle the large number of diners who now request special items, it is necessary that they be educated from the earliest stages of their careers to expect, to accept, to interpret, and to enjoy working with those types of challenges. By doing so, the food and beverage industry will be a much more friendly world for all consumers, and a much more profitable one for all industry professionals.
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Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2015
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Nathaniel Swain

Capstone

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 12:46
Abstract: Morgan Cuozzo
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Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Morgan Cuozzo

Potato

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 14:06
Abstract: **Summary of Portfolio** When we picked our topics out of the hat, with my result being Potato, I took a very literal approach. Potato was the star in all 3 dishes, with help from other flavors, the potato was allowed to shine. I chose the Papas Rellenas dish because it was right up my alley as a chef, something stuffed and deep fried, but also spoke to the heritage of the potato. Potato originated in Peru and this was a Peruvian Papas Rellenas. The Gnocchi was an easy choice because it was a dish I really enjoyed making and eating in Italy, when I studied Abroad. The first time I had the sage and butter sauce with sautéed Gnocchi, I knew it was my favorite. Not only because of the simplicity of the Sauce, but how clearly you tasted POTATO when you ate the dish. It was difficult to find a potato dish that also had a recipe that was acknowledged to produce decent product. I was staying away from sweet potato because it is not technically a potato. I read a lot of recipe reviews, things like potato tortes and truffles but with mixed opinions on how the outcome was taste / consistency etc. When I found the Super Spud Brownie, most reviews said it was moist and delicious and a solid recipe so I figured it would be a good desert.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Wills Ohrnberger

Ethan Kerr's Capstone

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 21:12
Abstract: Garlic
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Ethan Kerr

A Taste of the Sustainable Sea

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 12:08
Abstract: A Taste of the Sustainable Sea is a capstone project revolving around the topic Sustainable Seafood. We were asked to pick topics out of hat and from there on a $300 budget create a menu to our liking and serve to no more than twenty people. This particular project was a cold dinner, served minimalist style, to ten people. Each course was about two to four bites each giving the customer a "taste" of everything. Inside of this project, you will find costing, recipes, front and back of the house descriptions, pictures and the lit review. Sustainable Seafood is a new and upcoming topic that will only revolve more over time.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Emily Bertora

Afternoon Tea

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 17:26
Abstract: After air and water, tea is the most commonly consumed substance on earth. This steeped plant matter has affected every facet of the world, from the Buddhist Moncks of China to the royal courts of Britain, and the front porch of many southern states in America. The wide spread love and consumption of tea has created great passion among its consumers. A passion so large, that this warm beverage became the first mass commodity and has been the center of many great scandals, from the opium wars to the Boston Tea party protest. This incredible influential liquid will be brought to life through the Afternoon Tea that will be held December second. This tea will share the history of tea with a small group of people through a carefully prepared dinning experience. The dinning room will be a representation of the rituals of the classic English tea ceremony and the menu will embody the impact tea has had on Japan and China.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Jessie Husmann

Sous Vide Cooking

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 08:49
Abstract: In the present time, Chefs in restaurants that serve all types of cuisines are looking for different and new ways to manipulate flavors and textures. Some Chefs have found that the sous vide cooking technique is a great way to do just that. Most cuisines are fairly easy to change for the better, but Italian is more difficult since the dishes are typically the same in every Italian restaurant. The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory study is to determine how the sous vide cooking technique can be used in high end Italian cuisine to make the flavors superior to traditional ways of cooking. Data will be collected through a taste testing with product evaluation sheets. The evaluations collected will be thoroughly analyzed to determine which way of cooking is preferred by the culinary and baking students, and also the Chefs at Paul Smith’s College. The result of this study will give Chefs that are cooking Italian cuisine a new way to manipulate the flavors and textures for the better.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Sabrina Tessitore

Determining the Authenticity in Ethnic Cuisines

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 21:10
Abstract: The United States is often referred to as a melting pot. As many cultures have melded together, so have their cuisines. In recent years, ethnic cuisines’ demand has grown steadily and the market has become saturated with restaurants claiming to be authentic. With this popularity of ethnic foods in the United States, a demand for increased authenticity in ethnic restaurants is higher than ever. However, what makes an ethnic restaurant authentic? The purpose of this study is to look at the opinions of both consumers and industry professionals to find what each group finds important when determining authenticity. Research was done via online surveys sent to culinary professionals working in ethnic restaurants and diners of ethnic restaurants to determine what each population deemed most important when preparing ethnic food and when choosing an ethnic restaurant. The outcome of this study can be used by any person looking to open an authentic ethnic restaurant or looking to improve on their already existing restaurant.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Blue Swan Otto

Influence of Stand Density and Species Proportion on the Productivity of Planted Forests

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 13:24
Abstract: This study examines the influence of stand density and species proportion in mixed species forest plantations through the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS), forest growth modeling software. It is hypothesized that a mixed-species stand will be more productive than any monoculture of the same density due to some compatibility between the two chosen species. Trees were “planted” in 5 different densities; 460, 540, 660, 860, and 1100 trees per acre. The ratios of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) were then altered using substitutive plot designs and grown for 100 years. The most productive stand was established as a mixed-species plantation with a white pine:eastern hemlock ratio of 60:40. This stand was established with 1100 trees per acre; 660 white pine and 440 eastern hemlock. This translates to 39.6 square feet per tree, or a grid size of about 6.29’x6.29’. This stand, after 100 years of simulated growth, was 1.0038 times more productive than highest producing monoculture of the same density. Although the hypothesis was accepted, the most productive mixed-species stand developed into a white pine monoculture after 100 years of simulation.
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Major: Forestry
Year: 2012
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Tyler J. Dallas

Monitoring the Zebra Mussel Invasion Front: Use of New Technology

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 15:39
Abstract: Zebra mussels are invasive mollusks that are affecting the well-being of the water bodies in the United States. This study uses environmental DNA (eDNA) is a sensitive early detection system that may be useful in monitoring their spread. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of eDNA technology in identifying infested water bodies, to determine if zebra mussel DNA is in the Adirondack water bodies not known to be infested, if the water chemistry of these water bodies is favorable for zebra mussel establishment, and if the eDNA technology is transferable to an institution like Paul Smith’s College. Eighteen lakes, all in New York State were sampled, fifteen of which are located in the Adirondack Park. DNA was extracted from water and plankton samples and species specific primers were used for PCR amplification to determine if zebra mussel DNA was present. Of seven samples taken from sites known to be infested, five of these tested positive for zebra mussel eDNA. Four lakes not known to be infested within the Park also tested positive for zebra mussel eDNA. Based on zebra mussel risk parameters (water chemistry) applied to 1,469 Adirondack water bodies, less than 3% are at risk of zebra mussel establishment. However it is possible that established populations could occur at microsites that may have locally high levels of calcium and higher pH.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Forestry, Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2011
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Alexandria Bevilacqua, John Bishop, Charles Cain, Tyler Clark, Seth Crevison, Robert Culyer, Ryan Deibler, Brian DeMeo, Jonathan Eckert, Kirsten Goranowski, Joelle Guisti, Alan Jancef, Korinna Marino, Michelle Melagrano, KaitlynNedo, Joseph Nelson, Aaron Palmieri, Cole Reagan, John Scahill, JohnathanStrassheim, Scott Travis, Sarah Van Nostrand and Sarah Vella