Khadija Malik Summer 2021 Blog

by Khadija Malik, September 15, 2021

Where there’s tea, there’s hope’ Wing Pinero

The weeks leading to my final culinary Capstone were filled with anticipation. I was constantly worrying whether something would turn out well on the day of, planning and strategizing on dealing with my final presentation. I left the printing of my menu and compilation of my final project to the very last minute, which was very unlike me.

For the Culinary Capstone presentation, each student must develop a restaurant concept from the ground up, putting into motion everything we have learned about management, financing, facilities planning, flavour theory, designing menus, amongst other essential kitchen skills.

And so the day arrives, 10th September. On the day of, each student must present three items from their menu: appetizer, main course, and dessert, starting with an amuse-bouche. My biggest challenge was being able to deliver the afternoon tea experience to the judges. In all, including one breakfast item and an afternoon tea experience, I was presenting a total of 12, including my amuse bouche, and of course, I had a selection of teas to offer as well.

I reminded myself to breathe as I had prepared most elements the day before. I chose to present my idea first. My scones from the day before did not look that great, so with 45 minutes left to present, I decided to bake a fresh batch. My mind was in six places at once. I assembled my sandwiches, and after that, to say I remember everything would be a massive overstatement. I was acting on muscle memory, palms clammy and dry all at the same time. The multiple cups of tea I had seemed not to have kicked in. A dear friend, Maheen, who was helping out with Capstone, calmed me and asked me to keep going, and so I did. I sent everything out on time- at this very moment, I was relieved. It’s done! I can’t take it back; it is what it is.

Of course, the anticipation did not end there. I checked my student portal every thirty minutes to an hour… grading had begun. I knew the mistakes I had made and was hoping they wouldn’t cost me a good grade and as of this morning, they did not.

Culinary Capstone allowed me to run a mock trial on a concept I had developed years ago, before I even started in this industry. It allowed me to put my concept into motion and understand the many moving parts of developing and implementing it to an extent.

Shakshuka, Goats Cheese, Cilantro, Sumac
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