Contrary to popular stereotypes, it wasn’t all stress and chaos behind the kitchen doors of The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota on March 2 for HospitaBull.
The event, which is completely organized and executed by University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee students in the USF College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership with help from students from the USF Sarasota-Manatee Culinary Innovation Lab (and a few Ritz staff members), gave the students the chance to work in a real kitchen and ballroom that hosts some of the biggest events in Sarasota.
Hospitality management and culinary students alike seemed completely cool, calm and collected behind the scenes — if they were afraid or nervous to be working under the pressures of preparing for 140-person event, they sure didn’t show it.
Guests started their evening mingling and sipping at cocktail hour before adjourning to the ballroom for the main event. Dinner began with a prefix salad course dubbed “The Red Carpet” that consisted of tossed baby greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced strawberries, spiced pecans and local strawberry-rhubarb dressing.
The main course was pan-seared chicken breast with wild mushroom risotto cake and an assorted vegetable medley.
Event-goers ended their meal with a espresso chocolate mousse with dark ganache, topped with hibiscus-honey crystal.
The evening also included several speakers — including Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone and Executive Chef Yann Chupin of the Ritz — as well as an auction.