Conestoga news

February 27, 2017 7:00 AM

Culinary students host Rising Stars series at the Kitchener Market

Second-year Culinary Management students kicked off the Rising Stars Canapé Series on February 22 at the Kitchener Market. The series includes three themed pop-up canapé evenings featuring international and locally inspired hors d'oeuvres, desserts and live music.

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Culinary students will host the Rising Stars series at Kitchener Market on February 22, March 29 and April 19.

Rising Stars, now in its second year, is a partnership between the School of Business and Hospitality, Conestoga's Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Kitchener Market. The event provides Conestoga’s aspiring chefs and restaurant owners a real-world experience while they plan menus, source ingredients and execute each of the three evenings which are open to the public. Unlike last year’s series which featured themed dinners, Keith Muller, chair of the School of Business and Hospitality, said the new canapé theme fits with the students’ course work this term.

“Our first evening was a great success,” said Muller. “The hands-on experience lets students practise culinary their skills, but interacting with guests gives them a chance to improve their communication skills as well.”

The series is presented by 35 students who are responsible for preparing a variety of high-end buffet canapés using techniques taught in the Garde Manger course. The February 22 and April 19 menus are locally inspired and the March 29 menu will have an international street food theme. Students are required to source their products from the Kitchener Market for each event. Muller said some of the menu planning for the evenings took place during the term and included the preparation of items like jams and salsas, but the remainder of the food preparation takes place on the day of each event.

Jennifer Fletcher, manager of Conestoga's Applied Research and Entrepreneurship programs, said the revitalization of Kitchener’s downtown core, which is strengthening the city’s restaurant industry, makes the Market an ideal partner and location for the series. In addition to honing culinary skills, students are introduced to the entrepreneurial aspects of restaurant ownership and management.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the March 29 or April 19 events, visit the Rising Stars website.

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. As part of their learning experience, students operate Bloom, a full-service, licensed dining room at the Waterloo campus that is open to the public. For more information, visit