Valentina Lopez Castillo Fall 2019 Blog

by Valentina Lopez Castillo, November 26, 2019

This quarter I’d like to talk about a very special class that I never expected to see as part of my education but that I thought was wonderful, and an amazing tool for bakers and cooks to have as part of their curriculum. It allowed us to learn a different side of our industry that can be very useful for applying a holistic approach for execution of our dishes; it is called Banquets.

Although the class that corresponded to my Baking and Pastry curriculum only involved serving Banquets, it pretty much encompasses everything related to serving in a fine dining room. One night a week, during our entire quarter, we served real clients of The Dining Room at Kendall College, who arrived to have dinner composed of four courses and dessert. They would sit down, order drinks, eat, have their plates and silverware cleared between each course, and, at the end of the night, they would pay their bill. We, as the Banquets class, were responsible for guiding them throughout their dining experience and serving them with authentic fine dining etiquette that was taught to us by our teacher.

Although it may seem as though this will be a skill that we will never need being a part of the back-of-the-house staff, it is something that, in my opinion, all chefs should be exposed to. It can sensitize us to the struggles that the front-of-the-house staff can face. It is also a skill that can help a struggling unemployed chef, open his or her horizons to make ends meet, when times are tough.

I am thankful to my teacher, Ms. Beard, for giving us all the tips and tricks to charm our guests, as well as giving us very thoughtful advice so that we can “keep our head above the water” in our industry and, in result, in our life.

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