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SLU Nutrition and Dietetics Students Create Take-Home Culinary Experiences

For years, students in the Garde Manger class of Saint Louis University’s Nutrition and Dietetics program have been able to show off their culinary talents by hosting in-person events. The events have traditionally allowed students to gain experience with recipe development and testing, budget management, marketing and event organization. Just as restaurants and culinary businesses had to do this year, the students in the Garde Manger class had pivot and get creative with in-person events limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. Their creativity resulted in the decision to create and market take-home culinary experiences as opposed to the traditional restaurant experience.

BOXD Charcuterie Board
An example of the BOXD charcuterie box created by SLU Nutrition and Dietetics students.

The class split into two groups and each created their own take-home culinary concept. One group created BOXD, a take-home charcuterie box with offerings for an evening cheese plate or a breakfast spread. The second group created Midtown Harvest, a take-home three-course dinner for two filled with locally sourced ingredients and ideas on where to take the dinner for a date night picnic.

The class is taught by Chef Dietician Jackie Price, MS, RDN, who truly enjoys watching her students truly immerse themselves in this project every year.

“This is one of my favorite projects because students have complete creative control over what they make, so they become really invested in it,” Price said. “They get to work on cooking, management, delegation, marketing and organization, so it becomes a tiny first taste at understanding how cooking can translate from a hobby to a business.”

Catherine Cline, a member of the Midtown Harvest team, thought developing their concept and adapting it for today’s environment was a very interesting process.

“Challenging our own creativity and skill sets has been really fun,” Cline said. “We’ve had to bounce ideas off each other, test recipes and market our event. Combining our personalities together with the skills we have learned in class to carry out this project has been very rewarding.”

Olga Goumas, one of the members of the BOXD team, explained how this project gave her and her classmates insight into what the culinary industry is like.

“We have learned there are so many moving pieces and parts to consider,” Goumas said. “This project introduced us to the planning, logistics, marketing and execution of our product. This project has truly broadened our horizons and forced us to think more dynamically throughout the process.”

Midtown Harvest prepping food
A member of the Midtown Harvest team prepping food for their take-home culinary experience.

The BOXD charcuterie boxes have now sold out, but the public can still place orders from Midtown Harvest for pick-up in Fresh Gatherings on Friday, Nov. 6.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.