State change allows educational alcohol consumption

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Editors: For localization potential note list of community colleges with culinary and hospitality programs at end of story
Capital News Service
LANSING– Michigan community college and university students can now have alcohol in class.
That doesn’t mean students can crack open a beer in the middle of math.
Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed into law a bill that allows accredited culinary or hospitality business programs to serve alcohol on campus. But the occasion must help students learn more about the industry.
Before the law some colleges couldn’t host events that served alcohol as part of instruction because Michigan liquor laws prohibit alcohol from being served on state-owned land. That includes community college and university property.
“We’d been hearing from some of the state’s culinary arts programs that the previous law was a barrier for them in best educating students about the use of alcohol in cooking, pairing wines with meals, etc.,” Sara Wurfel, press secretary for Snyder, wrote in an email.
Not all colleges have nearby convention centers with liquor licenses where they can serve alcohol.
“This is about fair culinary training for all colleges and universities across the state and now everyone can be on the same playing field,” said Richard Teeple, executive chef instructor at Henry Ford Community College. “We’ve been advocating for this here going on three years.”
The law allows students to serve alcohol with prepared meals at on-campus restaurants and events to learn more about the role it plays in the culinary and hospitality world. For these events students learn how to open and present wine, learn to explain alcohol pairings with guests and use alcohol in cooking. The law doesn’t apply to student cafeterias.
“The industry is asking students to come out of culinary schools with more food pairing with alcohol and wine training,” Teeple said. “By offering this training and having food and wine pairing and more selection at a school, then we’re basically helping the industry and helping make jobs, especially in Michigan.”
Before the law, Teeple said schools had to apply for a temporary liquor license for individual events and could only get 12 per year.
The temporary licenses limited training, he said. And renting a private venue off-campus for an event and working under their liquor license is expensive.
But now under the new law programs could be held on-campus at a much cheaper rate than renting a private hall and putting up with high alcohol and catering prices.
Instructors across the state agreed with Teeple that the training is vital in the culinary industry.
“It’s necessary for culinary or hospitality students to learn the service of alcohol, the management of alcohol and the huge part that beer and wine pairings have become in the culinary experience,” said Dan Gendler, program director for the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College. “It is a knowledge that students need to learn and what better way for them to learn than in a controlled atmosphere with certified instructors.”
Even before the law, Michigan State University’s advanced wine course has served wine in classrooms to students who were at least 21.
State law allows you to taste wine in the classroom, said Carl Borchgrevink, associate professor at The School of Hospitality Business at MSU, but only if the instructor is there and it is required as part of the course. His classes do not serve alcohol like the programs that will be affected by the law, he said. Other courses at MSU serve alcohol to paying customers at a conference center under its liquor license.
The law will enable students to learn through experience rather than a textbook.
“Try to imagine what butter tastes like,” he said. “To describe it without tasting it is almost impossible. The same thing is true with some of these beverages.”
Community colleges with culinary programs – Oakland Community College, Northwestern Michigan College, Henry Ford Community College, Macomb Community College, Schoolcraft College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Washtenaw Community College. I
Community colleges with hospitality management – Bay de Noc Community College, Henry Ford Community College, Jackson Community College, Lake Michigan College, Lansing Community College, Macomb Community College, Mid-Michigan Community College, North Central Michigan College, Oakland Community College, Washtenaw Community College, and Wayne County Community College District.
Universities with hospitality management – Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Eastern Michigan University, Central Michigan University, and Northern Michigan University.
© 2011, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.

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