Farm camp brings local food system to life for culinary student

Farm camp brings local food system to life for culinary student

Spence Farm Foundation’s mission “is to teach the art, history and practice of small sustainable family farming across America.” Kendall College culinary student M. Viviana Proano recently attended ‘Chef Camp’ hosted by the Spence Farm Foundation. Spence Farm sponsors trips to their Central Illinois farm so students can learn about sustainable agriculture practices and more information about where the food served at read more

Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 4

Kendall College, September 24th, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Faculty, Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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Authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines 

Well today Dean Zonka woke up with prosciutto abound in her room and we don’t know why. Party in Dean Zonka’s room! I just lost three credit hours for that one. You’re welcome. The day started off in uniform at the Universita Dei Sapori in Perugia to learn about the production of pasta. It began with a lecture: Pasta 101. The Italian diet is based on carbohydrates, where as our diet is based on protein or sugar and fat.
School 1
Next we were introduced to Chef Fabrizzio and Chef Stefano; real Italian men with real Italian pasta. They separated us into two groups to learn how to make ravioli and tagliatelle pasta with a meat ragu and fish sauce.

To make the ravioli, we had to make four different flavored doughs consisting of saffron, tomato paste, squid ink, and spinach. The doughs were these dazzling colors of yellow, red, black and green.

Black Dough
We kneaded the doughs, rolled them out, and combined them into layers. We also kneaded the dough for the tagliatelle and made it using the pasta machines.
We filled the raviolis with a salmon ricotta filling. If you can remember correctly, from my previous blog, ricotta is NOT a cheese.

The raviolis were served with the fish sauce and the tagliatelle was served with the meat ragu.

Fish sauce
We presented this lunch to ourselves and other members of the university. We’re official now. We have the Italian diploma to prove it. Does that translate in the U.S.? Thank you Chef Fabrizzio and Stefano, you really touched our hearts, ti amo.

After lunch, we changed and walked out to the bus. Enter Marco. Marco has been with us since the beginning. Without him, we would not get anywhere as he is our bus driver. We have a different bus every day as each bus is smaller then the day before. Tomorrow, Marco may be picking up all twenty something of us in a four-person taxi cab. Grazie, Marco?

Marco must have had too much vino at lunch today, because he took off down the drive way without Sharim, myself, the Dean, and Chef Altieri. I proceeded to chase after him screaming newly learned Italian words.

We arrived at the olive groves and learned how very different the value of olive oil is from wine. We are used to olive oil tasting more like fat rather than the olives. This is not the best quality, but we may think it is. People are accustomed to paying more for better quality wine, but do not seem to care about the quality of olive oil.

Oil Press
Olive oil is aromatic and pungent. If it is of good quality, you do not need any kind of seasoning or salt. We tasted the olive oil by warming the cup of it in our hands, placing it in our mouths and then tasting the change of flavors. The taste of olive oil transitions from strong to bitter to nutty (like almonds) in a matter of thirty seconds. Can I swallow now?

If you go to an Italian restaurant in the states, you may be served olive oil with bread and parmesan cheese. For the olive oil tasting, we were served the olive oil with slices of bread. With this particular Italian olive oil, you do not need the parmesan cheese additive. It is perfecto by itself. It is fresh and savory. You do not taste only the fat; you taste the olives as well.

Alex (2)
After the visit to the olive grove, we got back onto the bus only to realize that Marco had allowed a mosquito farm to form. Mamma Mia, Marco! We returned to the hotel to be presented with a pizza making dinner experience. The Universita and the dean of such came to teach us how to make and assemble real italian pizza! Is your mouth watering?

Pizza (2)
Friends (2)
We also discovered that we are not the only guests at the hotel. I am starting to rethink this whole Italian man thing…maybe I should just stick with American men.
All in all, the day was bellissima full of fond memories and new friends. We go to Tuscany in a few days, so we will be savoring the last few moments here in Perugia. We continue to take you with us through every knead, every taste, and every bubble of mozzarella cheese. We miss you all dearly and we hold you close to our hearts through this once in a lifetime journey.

Landscape 3
Wish you were here,

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Kendall College Goes to Italy: Episode 3

Kendall College, September 22nd, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Faculty, Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this

Authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines

Sunday is the day for rest in Italy, but not for us. We began the day by making our way to Lake Trasimeno, which is a lake located in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region. We landed in a small museum that was filled with everything you needed to know about fishing in the lake. From cod to boats to netting, we discovered what it was like to be a fish in the waters of Trasimeno and what it was like to be caught in a net…literally!
After struggling for awhile to figure out who was not going to get sea sick and who was, we were off to sail. The water was like glass, calm and flat, and it could not have been more perfect. There was no way anyone was going to get sea sick. The sun was hot and the breeze was cool and we were about to discover the food network style of fishing. The fisherman had already put out nets twenty-four hours in advance, so when the first net was pulled, there was already cod caught into the nets.
Next we released the second net, and we realized we caught a total of 10 cod fish. Now, it was off to sail around the Isola of Porvesay. Enough work for the day said the Italians, it is time to eat! The island was lined with cyprus trees. In Italy, when you see a cluster of cyprus trees, it usually means that cemeteries are nearby. The boat ride around the island turned out to be a calming one as we tied both of the boats together.
We had a fish based lunch with antipasti full of fried fish such as sardines and breads with fish spreads. Some thought the fried fish needed tartar sauce, but I think a spritz of lemon sufficed. The second course consisted of fresh pasta pomodoro with pesce (fish). Italian pasta is the definition of fresh pasta compared to the fresh pastas we make in the U.S. There is no comparison. It is creamy and delicate. Vino (wine) was served with lunch this time, of course. We sipped white wine. It was sweet and mild. Some said it was flat, but I actually thought it was better than the one we later consumed at the winery. Americans can be use to harsh bad wines that are strongly fermented. Sometimes there is a ton of sugar added. This can lead to hangovers and headaches, but not this wine today. This was fresh Italian vino.

Fish Antipasto
After lunch, we got back on a ferry to travel back to our bus which then we made our way to the Carini winery near Canneto.

We climbed down the steep hills, which most of us involuntarily slid or fell down. Ale and I hesitated, so we were helped by Enriquo, an employee of the vineyard. And, by helped, I mean I he carried my camera around his neck and me on his back. Grazie, Enriquo, grazie.
The winery was filled with olives, grape vineyards, fig trees, and pig farms. They produce their own olive oils, wines, and prosciutto.

For the wine production, the grapes are pressed and then placed in french oak barrels where they can sit for up to a year to ferment. The barrels are about 800 euros a piece and they are only used for a total of three rounds, or three years, where then they are resold for 60 euros to those who make whiskey or vinegar.
No Drinking
We were introduced to the farm pigs and their baby piglets. Buonasera Wilbur, we are about to eat you as prosciutto between two tortes. Grazie!
Enriquo brought out Nutella tortes for dessert. I think he thought that we have never seen Nutella before in the U.S. Oh, we have…Enriquo…we have. As the sun began to set, we stepped back onto the bus and made our way back to the hotel. We go back to school tomorrow…Italian school… to learn how to make fresh pasta. Are you jealous? You should be! Until we meet again, America…that is if we come back.
Wish you were here,

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 2

Kendall College, September 22nd, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Faculty, Inside Kendall, International, Student, Uncategorized | Permalink | Email this

Authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines

Ciao! We awoke this morning and made our way down to breakfast. Once we sat down with our plates full of tarts, charcuterie, fruits, and more (because Italian breakfast consists of sweets), we were asked, “Something from the bar?” Absolutely! Our initial American thought would have been beer or vodka, but this does not mean three shots of tequila to the Italians; it means espresso or cappuccino. Nutella was served with biscuits. For those of you who know me well, I am obsessed with Nutella, so it was a nice surprise to see later that half of the hotel’s inventory of Nutella was stashed in my bag. Nutella is produced near Torino, #ilovenutella.

BarWe were off without a hitch, except for a few of us whom forgot to set their alarms, but that’s ok, nothing drill Sergeant Chef Altieri can’t fix. Buongiorno! We regained control of our inventory and off we were past the city of St. Francis and Monte Subasio, going east to forage for expensive mushrooms.

Off we went to discover the organoleptic of the Tartufo or Scorzone triffola, the black and white summer truffle. Did you know that truffle sauce isn’t actually made with real truffles? It is made with mushrooms and 3% truffle. You could make a pretty good living hunting and selling truffles, since a kilo of truffles can go anywhere from 500 euros and up. The price changes daily. Holding a handful of the white/gold truffles was like holding a Louis Vuitton bag. Bellissima!


Gold (2)

Gold Truffles

Until about five years ago, truffles were hunted by pigs. The pigs would eat the truffles and contaminate the soil. I am sure this could also be an issue for a vegan or a vegetarian. Dogs now have become the hunters. They are trained as puppies to play fetch with truffles wrapped in cloths and then to bring them back. I named one of the dogs Nutella. He ate the truffle, though, upon finding it. E la vita, I guess.


Walking up the breathtaking hills of Valo de Nera, we passed sheep farms, hidden cemeteries and said Ciao to somebody’s grandmother. I think she wanted to hook a few of us up with her Italian grandsons. We definitely almost lost Dean Zonka a few times on the slippery slopes, but she proved to be a fearless leader, as always.


GroupShot After truffle hunting, we were given a lesson on how to make ricotta cheese. Ricotta is not actually a cheese, according to the Italians. It is made from the whey. Maple wood is used to churn the cheese. And, I have to tell you, it tastes dynamite. It is incredibly fresh, satisfying and sexy. Whey


We were then served, what I thought was just going to be cheeses and wines, but turned out to be a house party of carbs. Truffles was infused into everything that we ate. From pasta to breads to frittatas. Personally, I hate mushrooms, but someone very close to me told me that I had to eat mushrooms in Italy. And, so I did. I loved them! Thank you, I miss you.


We then took a break in the old church that resided on the truffle farm. Adrian played the organ while Chef Altieri sang Journey. I was not able to capture this momentous occasion, but I know there is a video lingering somewhere. To be continued…



Our last stop was to the town of Preci, which was an old Monk Abbey. How does this tie into the culinary industry? Here lies the birth of charcuterie. What do you think about that Chef Coatrieux? Pigs were dissected here as a means for surgical and charcuterie purposes.


In addition, I found the place where I am going to get married. It was a group decision that I move here, get married, and have babies. I must find an Italian man first…we still have eight more days.


Although the weather called for rain, the sun eventually overpowered the dark clouds. It was a lovely day. For those of you who are not here with us, we brought you along for every mile and every memory. We love you, we miss you, and we will be together soon.


Wishyouwerehere (2)
Wish you were here, Ciao, #Kendallitaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 1

Kendall College, September 19th, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Faculty, Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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Authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines

Well, we arrived in Rome a little less American than we had started. Our feet are swollen and eyes are sunken, but nothing a plethora amount of pizza and wine can’t fix. We didn’t lose anybody, so that’s good. Customs was interesting as we spent half the day waiting in a line that never formed, but I guess that is Italy for you; slow-paced and care-free.

We got on a bus to go to Perugia, which I have to tell you is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. The three hour bus tour allowed most of us to sleep, except for Chef Altieri and a few of us, who could hardly contain ourselves with the abundance of sunflower fields, the city of Narni (which part of The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed) and the breathtaking hills. We can sleep when we are dead.

Upon arriving to Perugia, we were given a small tour of an Etruscan town. The Etruscan is an ancient civilization established in Western Umbria in areas corresponding to Tuscany. We explored the underground city of Perugia, which has since then been abandoned and abolished.
Underground City
After the tour of the city centre, we were greeted by a welcoming dinner supplied with all the pizza you could ever want. Just when we thought the dinner was over, we realized we were only half way through it as 10 more pizzas and “freedom” fries were presented.

We are starting to get to know each other quite well as I see this trip not only being an educational one but a bonding one as well. Chin Chin!

Wish you werehere

Wish you were here,

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Kendall College Hospitality Alumni Tour

Alumni Relations Office, September 15th, 2014 | Category: Alumni, Uncategorized | Permalink | Email this
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Kendall College has countless alumni that work in the hospitality industry in Chicago. This summer, the Alumni Relations office toured Chicago making five stops along the way to visit our alumni at work and see how their experiences at Kendall helped them to be where they are today.


Before we left for the day, we stayed on campus to visit our three Hospitality Management alumni, Maureen Schofield ’08, Melissa Koll ’09 and Deborah Bosco ‘91. “I returned to Kendall so that I could work as an event planner with people who are dedicated professionals.  It is exciting to work in a place where we can provide students the experience that I personally found to be so valuable when I was a student,” said Events Specialist, Melissa Koll.

Dining Room Manager, Maureen Schofield, valued her time as a student at Kendall College. “I was able to meet students and faculty with so many industry connections and that opened doors to internships and jobs where I learned more than I could have ever anticipated.”

Our first visit was the Public Hotel to visit Ana Katarina Cornelio ‘14, Sales and Catering Coordinator, Michelle Lucas ‘13, HR Coordinator and Rayna Zaharinova ‘14, Housekeeping Coordinator. “Students preparing to graduate should learn all they can from Capstone. It’s a stressful experience but it is a great learning experience,” said Zaharinova.


Our second stop was to visit Josh Montellano ‘13, Manager at Foodlife in the iconic Watertower shopping center on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. “Kendall taught me all the necessary skills, from professional development to the dress code, to step into a management role,” said Montellano.


The third stop was the Hotel Chicago to visit Front Office Director, Imran Jivani ‘11 and Group Room Coordinator, Jennifer Bastion ‘13. “Dean Tinnish taught me skills that I could actually apply to my job. It’s rewarding to see those skills and efforts appreciated by our guests,” said Bastion.  When asked what advice Bastion would give to a student she replied “Be ready to work really hard. If it’s possible, it can happen. Keep dreaming!”


The last visit was with Felicia Mayden ‘12 and Patty Hanley ’11, A.A.S Baking and Pastry, both Pastry Cooks at Cicchetti. Felicia completed the 2+2 program to obtain a degree in Baking and Pastry as well as Hospitality Management. “I have learned so much in the back of the house over the last two years. Who knows where I will be next but I hope to take everything I’ve learned from my Kendall and working experience and use it in a front-of-house position.”