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Nov. 7, 2008


A seven-course French dinner served Oct. 29 by the HRI 487/587 class required eight utensils at each place setting. The final meal (Nov. 12) is sold out. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Delicious real-world experience

Three intimate fall dinners were staged by the fine dining management class in the department of apparel, educational studies and hospitality management.

The 16 students enrolled in HRI 487/587 were in charge of the entire operation -- from planning, budgeting and preparing the menus, to plating and serving the multi-course dinners.

"They do everything on their own," said assistant professor Lakshman Rajagopal, who oversees the class.

He said the students consult with Stewart Burger, special events coordinator at The Knoll, for wine pairings. Teaching assistant Jay Lee lends expertise gained at the Culinary Institute of America.

The class, which is divided evenly to cover jobs in the front (such as serving) and back (such as food preparation), prepares a practice dinner a week in advance.

This fall's themes were:

  • "Elies Dopio" (Greek)
  • "Un diner elegant" (French)
  • "Autumn's End: A Farewell Feast to Fall"

Each dinner has a minimum of five courses. A total of 150 diners were served in the MacKay Tearoom.


Students in the HRI 487/587 fine dining class planned three themed, multi-course dinners this fall. The 16 students were responsible for every aspect of the meals, from start to finish.