Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Hospitality management serves up four-course dinners

Monday, November 6, 2017

Hospitality management majors are utilizing Dearmont’s kitchen on Mondays to create a four-course dinner to serve up to 35 people. They have a $250 budget for the dinner, which will cover decorations, food and anything extra they would like to add.

Students in the senior-level class HM416 spend a long time planning for this dinner with a packet to prepare in advance. The packet helps the students plan out each step for their dinner. They have to figure out how much everything will cost, make a budget for their dinner and come up with a dinner theme that goes along with the food served. The dinner starts at 5:15 p.m. on Mondays and every week with a theme.

On Oct. 30, students Rachael Peasel and Amy Dressler hosted their Holiday Mashup dinner.

“The theme always needs to be unique and Amy and I thought about how we love holidays so we wanted to incorporate a different holiday dish into every food,” Peasel said.

There were five tables set up all decorated into different holiday themes. The holidays featured were Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Easter and Halloween.

“I encourage them to use it as networking to invite other professors they might have, potential employers, other people in the industry, or any contacts,” Professor of HM416, Lisa Essmyer said.

The first course served was an appetizer of winter squash/pumpkin soup. The second course was a red and blue sweet summer salad. The third course was the entree of Thanksgiving hangover patties with sweet potato chips. Lastly, the fourth course was Christmas cookies where everyone could choose from a separate table and decorate their own cookies.

“The service was amazing at the dinner and every dish had a great flavor to it,” dinner attendee Kelly Ball said.

Last week’s dinner was a food truck theme where the managers served the food out of a built cardboard food truck. In the past a group did a theme that was budget friendly food and also nutrient dense and they invited the women from the safe house.There has also been a superfoods dinner that was tied in with superheros where every server was dressed as a different superhero.

The number of dinners that are scheduled for Mondays depends on the number of students in the class. That ranges anywhere from nine to 11 each semester.

“Sometimes they have two different soup ideas and they come in and make both of the soups in class so they can see which one they like better,” Essmyer said.

Everyone in the class tests and critiques each other’s ideas.

Photo by Mariena Carter

“They then compare and contrast to utilize everything they have learned in previous classes,” Essmyer said.

Once the students come up with an idea, they choose a partner for the project and function as the managers for their dinner. The week prior to their dinner the managers create a timeline that plans out everything that needs to be done for the dinner.

“It has to be detailed for the other students to read and prep before they come the following week,” Essmyer said.

The managers assign 10 students to a certain job to assist them in preparing their dinner or serving it. The managers are required to keep everyone on track, assign jobs, set up everything and clean up everything.

“This is the biggest project that is considered to be the ticket to graduation,” Peasel said. “I feel like if you fail this project you would probably fail the class.”

This class is practical and hands on which Essmyer helps guide them through the process.