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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.
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2015
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Nathaniel Swain

A Taste Of Legumes

Sat, 05/09/2015 - 20:00
Abstract: This capstone investigates the history and use of legumes over the years. Contained within you will find information about the agricultural and culinary importance of these plants.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2015
File Attachments: KIC%20Document%200001-5.pdf
Authors: Elizabeth Savoie
Sat, 05/09/2015 - 20:00
Abstract: This capstone investigates the history and use of legumes over the years. Contained within you will find information about the agricultural and culinary importance of these plants.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2015
File Attachments: KIC%20Document%200001-5.pdf
Authors: Elizabeth Savoie

Potato

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 09:17
Abstract: This Casptone includes exhilarating information about the multiple species of tubers. It goes in depth about the multiple uses of the potato and all of the nutrition of each species.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2015
File Attachments: Potato
Authors: Nicole Landry

Cheese

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 17:05
Abstract: This culminating experience happens in two phases. Throughout the semester, students have been taking on the role of Executive Chef in our Palm Restaurant. They have each created a menu, ordered food supplies, developed budgetary proposal, and assigned duties pertaining to food production and front of house service. Each dinner took on a different food related theme that the students researched and developed. This poster session provides the students to describe their process, their findings, and what they learned from the experience. My theme was based on cheese.
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2015
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Lisa McCartney

Building Families Stronger

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 14:05
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to design a program that can be implemented in local camps to accommodate the needs of individuals in a family group affected by mental illness. The study will explain the importance of educating individuals about mental illness and integrating supportive behaviors. This program is designed to help families cope with the effects mental illness can have on the entire family dynamic. Families are often the strongest support system for dealing with mental illness and educating families is essential for success of the mentally ill. Team building games are used to enhance social behaviors and encourage group bonding, this program uses a recreational therapeutic approach to addressing issues in the lives of those affected by mental illness. To figure out how many people will be most likely be using the therapy program, a survey was created using a series of questions that went with the topic for respondents to answer. In fact the survey established that the majority of people agree on recreational approach to therapy as a means of coping with their illness in real life tasks. Other questions asked was what their favorite activities where, such as paddle sports and hiking. Another question was what disability was so as to get an idea what accommodations would be need and services for patients involved with the program.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Natural Resources Environmental Science, Parks, Recreation and Facilities Management
Year: 2015
Authors: Courtney Berg, Douglas Menge, Ashley Beldock

The Root of The Problem

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 15:35
Abstract: Abstract The local food movement is a leading trend in the restaurant industry. Paul Smith’s College utilizes multiple culinary labs and an on-site restaurant. Considering the industry trend and the amount of produce used on a daily basis, how can we better utilize our produce? This study seeks to determine if a root cellar could help increase the shelf life of vegetables for the culinary labs and St. Regis Café. Invoices of vegetable orders from vendors (specifically Sysco) will be gathered and analyzed. The data collected will be used to determine the feasibility of methods related to vegetable preservation.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Capstone Final
Authors: Christian Hunter

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.
Access: No
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

Vertical Gardens

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 21:08
Abstract: Vertical gardens have the potential to be both functional and serve as decoration in the modern restaurant. This Capstone will study vertical gardens and restaurants in the United Sates that currently have vertical gardens, in an effort to determine if vertical gardens could be a profitable investment for the modern restaurant, if vertical gardens are practical for restaurants to have and maintain, and if the vertical garden could serve as a decoration to the restaurants’ guests. Methods will include interviewing chefs and owners of these restaurants and surveying restaurant patrons to measure the amount of value that the restaurant customer places on the idea of vertical gardens in restaurants. The results will prove whether or not the idea of a vertical garden in the restaurant is cost effective, while also providing decoration in the dining room and enhancing the customer experience. Vertical gardens are an integral part of the fresh, local food movement. It is incredibly important for students and professionals alike, to study this important new trend in the industry, especially as the fresh food movement is currently trending.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: FINAL.docx
Authors: Kayla Saenz

You Are What You Eat

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 18:12
Abstract: Food plays a huge role for all living organisms. The focus and purpose of this research is to determine if Paul Smith’s College students are getting the nutrients they need to perform well in school. Students need nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals that will help fuel the mind and body. These nutrients can have a tremendous effect on how the body’s behavior, specifically how it copes with stress and memory. The data was collected by observing the food choices offered in the Paul Smith’s College dining hall. It benefits students to have a balanced meal to nourish the mind and body. Offering healthy choices and promoting a balanced diet will benefit the students at Paul Smith’s College.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: You are what you eat
Authors: Courtney Sypher