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August 5, 2016 3:33 PM

Students close summer season at Bloom with organic menu

Culinary students closed the summer season at Conestoga’s Bloom restaurant on July 15 with an organic menu prepared with locally sourced produce and meats. Students in the Culinary Skills - Chef Training one-year certificate program were required to execute the menu as part of their exams for the term.

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Culinary Skills - Chef Training students Amy Kim Joungmi and Fabiola Pierre helped prepare an organic menu to close Bloom’s summer season on July 15.

Located at the Waterloo campus, Bloom’s full-service licensed dining room offers 3- and 4-course meals prepared by aspiring chefs and restaurant managers studying in Conestoga’s Hospitality programs. 

Culinary student Fabiola Pierre, who has ambitions of owning her own restaurant in the future, said she was pleased with her work on the organic menu even though she was nervous going into the final week of service.

The lunch that Pierre and her classmates prepared included a local summer berry salad with artisanal cheese and cider vinaigrette; a choice of pan seared chicken breast and ballotine, potato gnocchi, seasonal vegetables or pan seared sirloin and steak tartare, pommes anna and seasonal vegetables with a lemon tart to follow. 

During the exam week, Pierre and her classmates attended Oakridge Acres in Ayr where they toured the farm and selected meats and produce specifically for the organic menu. Pierre said she enjoyed the experience and the additional learning opportunity it provided.

Faculty member Andrew Brock said the organic menu was designed to test the techniques students learned in their skills lab. Students started preparations for the lunch service at 8:30 a.m. and were graded on their organization, work plan, professionalism and timing. Other menus throughout the term were designed to challenge students and required them to try different cuisines that included Asian and Italian, as well as tapas, deli and steakhouse themed menus. 

In addition to food preparation, faculty member Paul Torrance said students rotated their roles throughout the lunch and dinner services at Bloom during the term so they could take on front-of-the-house duties like seating and serving guests. Torrance said the multiple duties provided students with an understanding of the various roles needed to operate a dining room.

With the summer season over, Bloom will now be closed until October 11. Visit the restaurant’s website for updates and more information about new fall menus.

Conestoga’s School of Business and Hospitality provides a broad range of culinary and hospitality programs to prepare students for successful careers in the growing hospitality industry. For more information, visit the Hospitality website

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