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April 17, 2018 7:49 AM

Culinary students bring international cuisine to the Kitchener Market

On April 12, students in Conestoga’s Culinary Management diploma program hosted Rising Stars: International Tapas and Tastings at the Kitchener Market. Now in its third year, Rising Stars is a partnership between the School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Conestoga’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Kitchener Market that provides the college’s aspiring chefs and restaurant owners with a hands-on real-world experience.

Conestoga College - Rising Stars 2018.jpg
Culinary student Nuzhat Aman, right, worked with her team to prepare a selection of Indian street food for guests at the third annual Rising Stars culinary event at the Kitchener Market.

“Congratulations on making the Rising Stars an even bigger success than the last two years,” said Kim Freere, manager of the Kitchener Market. “The event was exceptional and the accolades regarding the overall customer experience keep rolling in. I know the staff at Kitchener Market appreciate and value the partnership we have developed over the last three years.”

The event was open to the public and featured a selection of tapas and street food from six countries. Using techniques taught in class, students planned and executed their menus, sourced ingredients and practised their communication skills while they interacted with guests. Among the featured tapas were confit cod and manchego croquettes from Portugal, Jamaican jerk chicken, bannock and braised elk from Canada, Korean bulgogi and Mexican tacos al pastor.

Nuzhat Aman, an international student from Bangladesh, said she enjoyed the Rising Stars experience and was happy it boosted her confidence: “This was my first time doing anything like this and preparing food for so many people. Now I know I can do it.”

She worked with her team to present classic Indian street food and started planning the menu with them a month ago. For two weeks leading up to Rising Stars, the team was involved with hands-on preparation that included testing and developing sauces.

Steph Housworth and her team were assigned Canada for their theme. For her, Rising Stars was an opportunity to really explore the country’s cuisine and research Aboriginal recipes.

“From tentative beginnings three years ago, this event speaks to the success of working with industry partners and showcasing the amazing work that our students and staff do,” said Keith Müller, chair School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts. “Thank you to Kim Feere, Michele McBride-Roach and the City of Kitchener for the unwavering support of the School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts.”

Conestoga’s School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts provides a broad range of programs to serve the workforce needs of the growing hospitality industry. An expanded Culinary & Hospitality Institute currently in development at Conestoga’s Waterloo campus will foster innovation and entrepreneurship for the region’s burgeoning tourism sector. Scheduled to open in Fall 2018, it will provide a number of key benefits for students and the community, including increased capacity for the delivery of education and training, new programs based on local food heritage and culture, and applied research and professional development to support local industry. For more information, visit Transforming Together.

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