Students from Greece Apollo Middle School received great lessons about taste buds and flavor notes on April 17 while visiting Henry’s Restaurant as part of a future careers program. The seventh and eighth graders met with Carol Whitlock, professor in the RIT School of Hospitality and Service Management, as part of Career Exploration Day, and learned that the food industry has many facets and that food itself is art.
Whitlock asked the 33 students in her group about their favorite foods with responses ranging from candies to condiments. She then launched into a conversation about the many areas of study that can lead to exciting careers—from being a chef in a restaurant to designing the menus for the restaurant, from being a packaging engineer to being a food broker or safety inspector.
The Career Exploration Day was developed through a partnership between Greece Apollo Middle School, RIT and the Monroe County School Business Partnership. The Partnership is a service provided to the Greece School District through a cooperative agreement with Monroe #1 BOCES.
As part of the visit to RIT, more than 70 Greece students participated in two workshops designed to reinforce classroom work. While on campus, they visited the School of Hospitality and Service Management, part of the RIT College of Applied Science and Technology, as well as the imaging science department, part of the RIT College of Science. Students were also given a tour of campus as well as a college experience of eating in Gracie’s dining hall.
During Whitlock’s presentation, she gave the students a lesson in the creation of new foods. “We’ll start with the foods you like,” she said, and opened a set of sliding doors to display saucepans filled with warmed chocolate for dipping. She invited the students to join her to test the ‘flavor notes’ of salty pretzels or sweet strawberries covered with rich, dark chocolate. Comparing a real strawberry to candy flavored like a strawberry, Whitlock said, “The candy is like a brass band, but the strawberry is like a real symphony, with so many rich flavors and sensory notes.”
Whitlock closed the session asking the students, “What is the best job of all?” The class responded unanimously, “Tasting!”