Student-Led Workshops: Breaking Virtual Learning Barriers
It is undeniable that this pandemic can be a barrier and limitation to students, most especially those taking hospitality courses, in having opportunities to participate and take part in live tastings and workshops. The IHM Special Projects Team in collaboration with the Enderun Food and Wine Society (EFWS) were able to organize an event where individuals can gain knowledge and hone their skills in the areas of coffee, wine, and mixology without leaving the comfort of their own homes. Participants were encouraged to follow along the workshops with their own equipment or opt to purchase them from EFWS.
The Student-Led Workshops were held last October 21st during Titan’s Week. Registered participants were able to learn about coffee pour-over techniques, wine pouring along with formal dining set-up, basic cocktails making, and a chance to communicate with the workshop leader. These three workshops were led by two Enderun students and an alumna who were knowledgeable in their respective fields.
Kicking it off with the Coffee Pour-over Basics led by Eduardo “Kopi” Domasig, a senior taking up the course Culinary Arts and the president of the Enderun Food and Wine Society. He carries a Society of Wine Educators (SWE) Beverage Specialist Certificate which covers most commercially relevant beverages including wine, spirits, beer, sake, cider, tea, and of course, coffee. Kopi started the workshop by showing and explaining the equipment that he will be using such as a pour-over, grinder, and kettle. He then proceeded to demonstrate how to do a basic coffee pour-over while giving tips and tricks to achieve the best coffee experience based on your preference. Aside from teaching how to pour-over, Kopi also provided supplementary information such as the different courses of grinds, acidity levels, and coffee beans. The participants were able to show off their work after the demo and were given notes on what to improve on and comments on areas they did best. The Q&A session with Kopi was enriching and informative as a lot of participants were curious about coffee in general. Kopi ended the workshop by leaving the audience with a piece of advice, “Make coffee every day”.
The series of workshops then carried on with its second segment: Wine and Formal Dining facilitated by EFWS’ former Vice President and Culinary Arts graduate, Jiyoung “Jean” Park. She has a WSET Level 2 Award in Wine, experience of being an on-call wine steward in Gallery by Chele, and currently works for Wine Depot, a job she had secured even before graduating. In this segment, Jean did a live demonstration on formal table service from start to beginning. She taught the participants how to serve and pour wine alongside useful tips! The segment ended with Jean answering a few questions regarding experience and service which the participants asked. This workshop definitely came in handy for those who wanted to learn or even brush-up on their practical skills.
To cap off the event, the final portion was dedicated to mixology, led by Enderun alumna, Carina Gonzales. She is currently a bartender and carries WSET Level 2 Awards in Wine and Spirits. Not to mention, she has managed to become a Top 6 Finalist in the Sagamore Spirit Bartending Competition, Top 10 Finalist in the Patron Perfectionists Bartending Competition and a Semi-Finalist in the Distileria Barako Bartending Competition. In the workshop, two cocktail making methods were demonstrated: shaken and stirred. The participants followed along as Carina went through the process of creating a Whiskey Sour for the shaken and an Old Fashioned for the stirred. The demonstration was then followed by a Q&A portion where the participants were able to attain a deeper knowledge on mixology regarding the use of spirits, equipment and techniques. As the session ended, Carina parted with a simple advice, which was to drink better and to keep practicing.
The pandemic has taken away numerous physical experiences and may have brought about rough times. Through this series of workshops, Kopi, Jean and Carina managed to remind the students that pursuing one’s interests and continuing learning practical skills is possible, even virtually. Surely, the learning never stops!