Video: Final exam a five-course meal at Niagara-on-the-Lake campus


Published October 20, 2022 at 11:07 am

Culinary Management students, from left, Michael Kim, Diego Naranjo, Jin Choi, and Arran Zaman present their dishes to their chef professors in their Contemporary Food Production Course. (Photo: Niagara College)

To most students, the words “final exam” conjures up images of nervously sitting at a desk with the paper in front, clutching a pen and wondering, “Has the ticking second-hand of the clock always been that loud?”

The word “tasty” doesn’t usually enter the discussion.

However, when it comes to the 20-plus second-year Culinary Management students at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, that word will likely come into play repeatedly.

For their final exam, the students will be preparing a five-course sit-down dinner for guests of an inaugural ticketed event dubbed the ‘Culinary Arts Final Exam Dinner’ to be held in the Benchmark Dining Room at the college’s Daniel J. Patterson Campus.

More than 70 guests, each of whom have paid $99-plus-tax, will be seated for the big test tomorrow night (October 21) in the Benchmark.

While those guests will not be grading the students – that, of course, falls to their professors – they will be invited to provide feedback at the event via customer surveys.

“This will be like many top-notch events that are presented at Niagara College,” said Craig Youdale, Dean of the Culinary, Tourism and Beverage Studies Division.

“The guest will experience what the students about to graduate are capable of and will have an amazing meal and experience.”

The event is part of a Contemporary Food Production course for Culinary Management students in their final term. Students in the class, taught by Chef Professor Olaf Mertens, have been behind several culinary pop-ups at the college since September.

“This is a fantastic way to assess students,” said Youdale. “The event gives them real life experience working with service staff and customers waiting for their meal. It goes to the heart of our desire to create applied learning.”

Here, Youdale explains some of the highlights of the college’s new Culinary, Tourism and Beverage Studies Division that was launched in September.

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