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Capstone Projects

Rooted Education: learning from aquaponics

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 15:02
Abstract: Aquaponics is the integration of soil-less agriculture (hydroponics) within closed-loop aquaculture systems to reduce the toxic accumulation of nutrient waste from aquatic animals. Bacteria naturally establish to purify water by oxidizing the ammonia secreted by fish, which reduces the toxicity of effluent while creating a usable nitrogen source for plants. The conversion of ammonia and nitrite into nitrate by living bacteria communities is called a biological filter, or biofiltration (FAO 2014). Aquaponics would not be possible without biofiltration; the slightest amount of ammonia would be fatally toxic to fish, and plants wouldn't receive the nitrates they need to grow. There are unique opportunities offered by an aquaponics system to learn about ecological and human communities. 1.1. Aquaponics enables users to grow fish and agricultural plants with limited space and resource use (water, soil, and time). This enables an aquaponics user to invest less physical energy and time into expanding sustainable food resources for their household use. 1.2. A small aquaponics system could promote cultural values of self-sufficiency, energy consciousness, and connection to food systems. It could inspire individual efforts to produce food for one’s household, to build healthier and more resilient systems, and a greater appreciation for farming. Therefore, this project aims to actualize a mobile and functional aquaponics system for the educational benefit of the Paul Smith's College community. I will provide the background knowledge needed to maintain an aquaponics system, as well as describe the general concept of aquaponics design.
Access: No
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources Sustainability Studies
Year: 2016
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Brian Jason Kohan

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

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.
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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

Capstone

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 12:46
Abstract: Morgan Cuozzo
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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: 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.
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: Wills Ohrnberger

Ethan Kerr's Capstone

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 21:12
Abstract: Garlic
Access: No
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.
Access: No
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

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

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