Design on the Menu for College Food Technology Students

May 26, 2015 at 11:08 AM

It’s not every day that a good three course lunch at a top Ponsonby restaurant becomes part of your school work but for our Year 12 Food Technology students, lunch at Prego Restaurant last week with General Manager, Brandon Lela'ulu and Restaurant Manager, Gemma Whenmouth was in support of their learning for two NCEA Level 2 assessment standards on planning and conceptual design.

For a restaurant, menu design is an art form that can make or break a career in the food industry. When planning a bill of fare that is unique to their own establishment, those bringing the menu together must consider the infinite possibilities of taste, technique, process and culture whilst creating something new, innovative and appropriate.

For their visit to Prego, a menu had been designed and printed specifically for the Saint Kentigern diners. The menu offered a range of choice on an Italian theme with a balance of options for all palates. For the students, not only were they able to see the construct of the menu and taste the food but, more importantly, they had the chance to ask questions of professionals in the industry.

The students are now tasked with designing and planning a meal for ‘stakeholders’ that will be served in a ‘pop up’ restaurant in the Jack Paine Centre early next term. Their challenge is to use a colour as inspiration for a three course meal designed for a specific person.  Each student will be matched with a staff member and assigned a particular material to work with that will be the basis for the theme of their meal. The students are required to plan all aspects of the meal including an analysis of the social and physical environment. This would include things such as table settings, printed menu, music, lighting and the overall ambiance they create for the meal.

We’ll look forward to see the outcome!

The students will be assessed for two NCEA achievement standards:

AS91355 2.2 (4): Select and Use Planning Tools to manage the development of an outcome AS91356 2.3 (6): Develop a conceptual design for an outcome

Food Technology at the College

The College has superb, industry-standard facilities for teaching Food Technology in the Jack Paine Art and Technology Centre. NCEA Levels 1-3 Food Technology is a demanding course structured to scaffold the learning and pressures that students can expect to experience during tertiary study. In Levels 1 and 2, students work with a food technologist to develop innovative new products that are fit for purpose as a result of extensive sensory analysis, market, consumer and technical research. During their final year, students synthesise their knowledge of food design and development in order to engage with an actual client. They are expected to solve problems with critical and original thinking, leaving the course with an extensive portfolio and basic industrial experience.

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