WYOMISSING, Pa. – Visitors to Berkshire Country Club restaurant will notice new menu concepts and items through the month of December. Penn State Berks hospitality management students recently created an innovative restaurant concept for the restaurant as part of the Advanced Food Production and Service Management course.
For the last two years, hospitality management students have created a pop-up restaurant at Penn State Berks during the fall semester. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, their professor looked for another way to showcase their creativity.
According to Pauline Milwood, assistant professor of hospitality management, three student teams created innovative restaurant concepts with the help of Bradley Fisher, executive chef, Berkshire Country Club.
Milwood explained, “This semester, we dug deeper to create meaningful learning experiences for our hospitality management students, who were disappointed to learn that we would not stage a fall pop-up restaurant. I am very proud of the way they embraced the challenge and applied their creativity and digital marketing skills to create innovative restaurant concepts and menu ideas.”
The concepts were "Lionside," "Rustikal," and “L'arte dei Sapori.” Lionside features a farm-to-table menu of local and ethically sourced ingredients for broccoli cheddar soup, winter salad, filet mignon and apple crisp cheesecake. Rustikal showcases a Pennsylvania fall array of smoked trout, butternut squash soup, venison filet in a red wine chocolate sauce and caramel apple grilled sticky. L'arte dei Sapori features a four-course tasting menu of Italian-infused flavors.
Based on feedback from the Penn State community, Lionside and Rustikal emerged as the favorites. Chef Fisher has implemented the teams’ menu ideas into Berkshire Country Club’s a la carte dinner menu. Diners will also receive information explaining the students' inspiration for their restaurant concepts and menu ideas.
“The students did a fantastic job of recognizing the importance of seasonal flavors and ingredients,” commented the chef. “Given the challenges of the pandemic and having to work remotely, the students creatively utilized their resources and developed well rounded menu marketing concepts.”
Karla P. Cruz, a senior hospitality management major, stated, “With the class taking an atypical direction, we had to find innovative and creative ways to work around our limitations, much like the restaurant industry is currently doing when facing this pandemic. Our team’s determination and resilience to bring Rustikal’s Pennsylvania-inspired concept to life paid off and I couldn’t be happier.”
“The project was challenging and interesting. It gave me a sense of how hard yet rewarding it could be to open your own restaurant or business,” added senior hospitality management major Jeremy Haldeman.
For more information, contact Milwood at [email protected].