Serving a cup of cheer
Culinary Arts majors donate holiday luncheon at Scranton City Hall
Students enrolled in one of Lackawanna College’s quickly expanding majors delivered a healthy helping of good cheer and glad tidings to employees of the city of Scranton.
On Friday, Dec. 5, students transformed the Governor’s Room inside City Hall into a quaint holiday gathering space to provide a free luncheon to city employees. Students, who also used Council Chambers as a staging area of sorts, planned and prepared a variety of menu items including chicken with spinach, roasted red pepper, and cheddar roulade; mesclun salad; turkey on a croissant with Havarti and roaster pepper mayo; vegetable and hummus wrap; and more.
A separate dessert table was lined with gingerbread snowflakes, sugar cookie trees, chocolate chunk cookies, iced passion tea, and scarlet orange flavored water.
Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright said past administrations had held small buffets in City Hall for the holidays, but it had been several years since workers had been able to come together in such a fashion.
“I think this is the nicest one they ever had,” Courtright said with a smile as city employees filled their plates and shared holiday greetings.
Scranton has been home to Lackawanna College’s main facilities since its foundation as the Scranton Business College in 1894, and the partnership between the institution and the city is as strong as it has ever been. Earlier this year, government meetings were held in the Theater at Lackawanna College when the elevator at City Hall had to be repaired, preventing public access to the Council Chambers.
Students who prepared the luncheon didn’t just exercise their skills in the kitchen, Kiesendahl School of Hospitality and Tourism Program Director Chef Stephanie Decker explained.
“Something we are very intentional about in our Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs is caring for people – providing those people great food, service, and experiences,” Decker said. “A natural extension of our goal to care for people is to nurture our relationships in the city. The opportunity to bring a holiday party to City Hall gave our students important practical experience in their chosen field but also the gift of serving others, which is the hallmark of the hospitality industry.”