Prabhshan Gandhi Winter 2020 Blog

by Prabhshan Gandhi, March 21, 2020

A capstone project is a culminating assignment, on which students work on during their final year of academic program. It requires different intellectual activities. This project helps students learn how to find and analyze information and how to work with it efficiently.

Getting proper education is not an easy task with modern curriculums challenging students to perform. Students are fairly comfortable writing essays, papers and daily online discussion boards but the real task is when you have to implement everything that you have learned or achieved over the years into a project.

My project began in September as I mentioned in my last blog. Capstone project at Kendall College at National Louis University is full of excitement and tons of delicious food. Think of it as a college thesis but more detailed and complicated as this project involves a border mindset towards wide range of activities like critical thinking, deep analysis, and the ability to use different media.

The team came up with a restaurant concept based on the biggest food trend of 2017, 2018 and 2019. Cannabis beverage/food market held a market share of $1.57 billion in 2018 and forecasted to grow at a rate of 15.4% to 3 Billion in 2021 making it most upcoming trend in the food industry.


In California, the popularity of cannabis dinner parties and fine dining experiences is growing fast. Some of the chef names in the state include Chris Yang of PopCultivate whose five to six-course dinner parties cost $100 per person and Sevan Abdessian and Kris Morningstar of The Gathering whose $250 dinners include five courses. Cannabis dinner parties aren’t new. For years, highly-trained chefs have been holding dinner parties in secretive locations.

The legalization of cannabis in Illinois creates a demand for venue to consume cannabis, thus an opportunity be the first food & beverage dining establishment to be a point of distribution. So with a common ideology of my team for the liberal society, a restaurant concept called Mary Jane Lane (MJL) was born. We want to be the first restaurant in Chicago to take advantage of this trend as an enhancement in a social dining setting by engaging with all the senses via cannabis pairing food.

As mentioned in my last blog we are trying to create a place where you’re likely to see a tablecloth, a trained wait staff and a cannabis sommelier. This Polished Casual restaurant is where you will feel like you’re having a bit of a luxury treatment in biophilic design dining space apart from our competitors, giving us a novel appearance without the formality of a full fine dining experience. Your menu experience starts as you step in the restaurant, you are welcomed with a cannabis infused welcome drink as an aperitif before your meal, as you would with a glass of wine in a wine pairing restaurant.

Every team has a goal in which they have to operationalize the proposals by fleshing out the management, service, operational, marketing, finance, and ethical issues associated with implementation. The final is divided into two parts-

  1. Presentation to industry professionals, clients, and a showcase that brings concepts to life for a public audience.
  2. A tasting of proposed food and beverages created by a culinary student in each team.

And of course, after all this hard work teams are awarded prizes based on performance in these culminating assignments. MJL team was awarded for the most innovative idea and I personally got an award for Leadership, earned the Rising Star Chef 2020 title, and also President Nivine Megahed and Dean Leigh Uhlir selected my showcase bite for the NLU grand opening.

This past quarter has been great as we moved on to a new facility which is very well put together. I would be proud to play my part as a T.A. and help each student achieve their potential and to enjoy the opportunity to be successful. I am really looking forward to the upcoming spring quarter so I get a chance to work in the wonderful kitchens NLU built for us.

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