Within the curriculum of Culinary Arts, a specialization of the SSTH Hospitality Management Degree in the 6th semester, the SSTH students took a look behind the scenes of food production. Behind every single product in the gastronomy there lies a lot of work and passion! A report by Alina Fritzenwallner.
A visit to the Plantahof Agricultural Training Centre
The Plantahof, agricultural education and advisory centre in Landquart, gave our class the opportunity to get to know the various fields of agriculture in a better way. It is important for us as future gastronomy specialists and hoteliers - who come into contact with products on a daily basis - to know where they come from and how much effort is involved in their production.
The day began early in the morning - just like in agriculture. Our first stop was the cheese dairy, where we were informed about the various methods of cheese production and all the steps involved.
The highlight? We made our own cream cheese, which we were able to taste in the afternoon!
How do the busy bees produce honey?
Immediately afterwards, we were picked up by the farm's own beekeeper, who took us into his area: The world of bees and honey.
Fun Fact: Did you know that there are wasps who pretend to be bees to steal honey? This is just one of the many interesting things we learned during our seminar on honey production and the busy bees.
Off to the plantation and the stable
Next, together with the experts, we took a closer look at the fruit trees. We were able to inspect the orchards and learn more about the characteristics of the different fruit varieties. It is hard to imagine how much knowledge and experience there is behind high-quality fruit growing.
The highlight - definitely the bite in the hand-picked, sun-warm apple.
This was followed by a basic course on grasses and cereals. Everyone could also harvest and enjoy a carrot directly from the soil, a uniquely intense taste.
In the afternoon we, the hotel management students went to a cow farm. After playing around with an adorable newborn calf, we were quickly brought back to the ground of facts. We were also shown the basics of meat production.
The lecturer and manager of the farm explained to us how much of the beef is used effectively and how much remains a waste product to this day. It became clear to all of us how carefully each individual should handle the valuable pieces of meat.
Our Learnings of the Excursion
In conclusion, it is very important for hospitality workers to know about the origin of the food items beforehand. There is so much work and passion behind the individual products and it is important that everyone is aware of this and appreciates it to the right degree. An important experience that we will take with us into our work places.
Alina Fritzenwallner, Swiss Professional Degree Student, 6th semester, EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH)