Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Taste of Italy: Riderwood Theme Meal

By: Sammy Koterwas & Josh Naumann

With food service as our final internship rotation, we were extremely excited to plan our theme meal. While other partner pairs were given the ability to choose their theme, we were given the task to bring Italian cuisine to Riderwood. This worked to the advantage of both sides of production; interns were able to spend more time in the kitchen practicing our culinary skills, while kitchen staff felt more confident aiding in the preparation of familiar recipes. 

Although we were given our Italian recipes, through “taste-testing” we were able to adjust ingredient amounts, as well as put our signature on dishes. While testing our lemon and chive risotto, we decided to put a spin on the original recipe. We first formed our finished risotto into cake patties. We then fried half them on the griddle, and baked the other half the oven. All cooks were then given a chance to taste both versions of our risotto cakes. The fried version on the griddle won unanimously, and the new recipe was then incorporated into our final menu.

Other adjustments came with each recipe we tried; vegetables were cut uniformly in the ratatouille for aesthetic appeal, fresh eggplant was used instead of frozen to easily roll our rollatinis, and mascarpone cheese was made from scratch instead of ordering it premade.

Spending less time on menu planning also allowed us to spend more time with marketing materials. Our commercial was recorded week 2 of our rotation, allowing the filming crew to add extra editing and effects to our finished product. Our commercial was able to air more than a week prior to our theme meal attracting more Residents to our event.

Our theme meal was a hit with residents with almost 100 in attendance! Authentic music played softly while residents enjoyed our Italian dishes. We were able to make our rounds with tables, thanking them for attending our meal while obtaining feedback and suggestions. It was a rewarding experience to hear first-hand how much the residents appreciated our hard work.

With the guidance of the Riderwood cooks and staff, we were able to make our final project in our final rotation a success! We enter the world of dietetics with a new appreciation for food service industry.

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