Culinary program develops Fridge and Pantry Challenge and plans for Fall term with food box plan

When Winter semester moved online, program coordinator Steve Moghini acted quickly to adapt the Culinary Management program. He created the Fridge and Pantry Challenge as the final project, challenging students to use items they already had to create delicious dishes.

“Cooks need to be adaptable and flexible. You can’t worry about what you don’t have; you work with what you have because, in this industry, you have to deliver right away,” said Steve, explaining that cooks are often expected to create off-menu items or adapt dishes based on dietary restrictions.

Photo by Ethan Shumak.

For the Fridge and Pantry Challenge, Culinary students plated incredible dishes in their homes. These include: a spicy Shakshuka complemented by a sweet Poke; vegetable fritters and Idli Sambhar; a beef pot pie, gingered carrot orange soup with Grand Marnier chantilly crème, and a cranberry, walnut, goat cheese salad. For grading, students submitted reports that featured photos of their preparation, production, presentation of dishes, and safety and sanitation. 

“There were many challenges with the Fridge and Pantry Challenge, but what the students came up with was utterly stunning and I give them a lot of credit,” said Steve.

Beef Pot Pie dish by Braydon Weir.

Steve is now working on the syllabus for September and preparing for remote delivery, including planning out food boxes that will be delivered to students. These boxes will feature ingredients the students need to complete their assignments.

“The future of the Culinary industry certainly includes food boxes and take-out, and restaurants will rely on this,” said Steve. “These food boxes will really add another layer of learning to the experience.”

Students will receive detailed instructions of assignment expectations and will use ingredients from their food box to create delicious dishes, which they will photograph or video. Dishes will be served to roommates, family members or friends, who are asked to grade taste honestly.

“I’ve heard from parents already, from the Fridge and Pantry Challenge, that they are loving all of the cooking at home!”

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Explore a Fleming Culinary Lab with this virtual tour: