Food as Art: A Cross-College Collaboration

By: Liza Madrid and Winnie Liao

The Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging Department had an amazing opportunity to showcase their skills sets with the Art Department late this year. This event was held in the Art Department within the Community Table Art Exhibition at San José State University on November 4, 2021. In the NuFS 22, Catering and Beverage Management course, students were displaying their knowledge of basic catering through extravagant foods. Professor Jamie Kubota and Chef Todd Engstrom were the stars of the menu creation which featured: Smoked turkey bacon cranberry pinwheels, cauliflower ceviche, crostini with carrot top pesto and whipped goat cheese, pumpkin whoopie pies, and dark chocolate truffles. Each of these appetizers was carefully crafted by the nutrition students in Chef Todd’s NuFS 22 class. This event was a great opportunity for the NuFS 22 students to showcase their culinary skills to the art department and the community. Not only was the art department able to get a deeper sense of the skills, teachings, and techniques that can be learned in the nutrition department, but the nutrition students were also able to get more of an understanding of the projects and artwork that the art students work on throughout the semester. Essentially, both departments were able to get a new perspective on each other’s work. This is extremely significant as it may inspire students to get involved in other departments, community events, and volunteer with other organizations.

Nutrition students, Winne Liao and Liza Madrid, both stated that the Community Table Art Exhibition was the perfect event to get hands-on experience in the culinary field. Liza Madrid stated that “…the best part of the event was that it allowed us to see what Chef Todd Engstrom used to do as a full-time caterer and how hard he has worked to become extremely knowledgeable in his field. His passion for the culinary field is truly inspiring.”Winnie Liao was quoted saying, “I really enjoyed this event. I was able to apply my previous experiences and skills of baking to this event, which made it even more fun! I hope for more events like this in the future.”

Overall, the Community Table Art Exhibition was a tremendous success among the students, faculty, and visitors. Each and every student from both departments should be proud of the hard work put in to make this community event possible!

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