Their winest hour: students shine at food and wine gala

Marriage of Food and Wine creates learning opportunities for guests and students


The Marriage of Food and Wine Gala made a triumphant return to the center of hospitality and culinary arts on March 19. Although the event is held every few months, this time creativity and diversity took the center stage to provide a rebooted experience for a full house of guests.

“For me, I think it’s the focus on pairing”, said wine student Kaitlin Dillon. “It challenges each individual student to pair with each individual wine, as opposed to everybody doing the same dish,” she explained. “That way, each guest understands what’s actually happening to their pallet: the flavour of wine combined with the food.”

The gala, which showcased over 11 varieties of wine, invited guests to use their five senses in the manipulation of flavours to show that wine was more than something to fancy up romantic dinners.

For the gala, students and teaching chefs joined forces to deliver the knockout blow in this final test for the hotel and culinary management programs. Both programs combined their expertise to astonish guests, who were eager to explore the campus, the entirety of which was converted into a banquet-mausoleum.

Through an array of cultural dishes that cover almost every country of origin in the world, the event showcased the power of wine and its endless possibilities. The wine was shining as it was incorporated with eclectic foods from Irish eggs, to revamped contemporary classics such as fish tartar and chicken roulade.

“With this event, you’re cooking the same things as a restaurant kitchen, but in larger quantities”, said Kenneth Olson, a student on the front lines at the gala. “You have to keep a constant flow within the kitchen itself, so that you have the freshest product for the customer,” he added. “Rather than have the customer waiting, you come to them essentially.”

Student-curated stations were scattered all over the gala from the top to the bottom floors. Guests were able to interchange red wines for white ones as the vibrant stations enticed with unique dishes.

“It’s an education for the customer to see that all these different foods and then realizing that this food goes better with that wine, so it’s a great learning experience for them too,” said chef Mario Gozzi, teaching chef of the wine class and organizer of the gala.

Gozzi said that the next event for the Marriage of Food and Wine is already in development, with the gala being scheduled for Nov. 2016. If you thought that wine decanter you got during Christmas was a dust-collector, you might want to start looking for it.


Their winest hour: students shine at food and wine gala