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Hospitality Industry Administration Alumni Reception - September 30, 2009

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On Wednesday, September 30, 2009, Triton College hosted its first Hospitality Industry Administration alumni reception. Over 140 alumni returned to campus to reminisce and enjoy the decadent food prepared by current students in the HIA program. Robert Ares, Executive Chef of the Chicago Zoological Society and Larry Riordan, the Director of Human Resources at the Peninsula Hotel were among the alumni represented.

The HIA dining room, kitchen, future demo lab, and bakery were set up into four stations incorporating regional cuisine paired with complimentary beverages. The Southwest station served smoked chicken quesadillas with an array of salsa and guacamole and offered margaritas, Pacifico, and Modelo beers. The Mediterranean station was griddled lamb kefta skewers with tatziki sauce and served pita chips with hummus and eggplant dips and Newcastle Brown Ale and Citron Martinis. The Asian station sliced fresh California and spicy tuna rolls while serving assorted dim sum and fresh Vietnamese spring rolls with cold sake and Gewurztraminer wine. The pastry station served assorted petit fours and offered a coffee station with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

The evening was intended to bring HIA alumni together for networking and socialization and to reconnect with the college. At the same time, they were able to view the current HIA facility and be proud that their college continues to build on an already superb HIA program. Most of the alumni who attended still live in the Chicago area, but the event did attract many from out of state, including Peter Leonhardt, a 1979 Triton graduate originally from Berkeley, who traveled from Orlando, Florida. "It’s a thrill to be back here and I’m having so much fun," Leonhardt said. "A lot has changed. In my graduating class there were only 14 students, this year the college is expecting more than 100 to graduate. That shows how much the program has grown since I was here. "

During some short presentations, administration announced that the program will be expanding. The college is working to raise $670,000 to develop unused space into a culinary demonstration lab/mixology lab. The new development will allow the college to offer more classes and demonstrations by guest chefs, as well as provide the upcoming beverage management certificate with state-of-the-art learning space that will allow students to transition seamlessly into the industry. "It’s truly a great opportunity for our faculty and staff to have our alumni back with us along with our current students who are doing an outstanding job," said Triton President Dr. Patricia Granados in her welcoming remarks. "As president, I have many things to be proud of and I recognize all of you for your accomplishments and want to remind you that you’ll always have a home here at Triton College."

For more information regarding the HIA program or the Capital Campaign, please contact (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3734.

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