A Fine Dining Experience at CityTech

a raspberry napoleon

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

I’m officially a senior in college which means that I’m one step closer to pursuing my dreams. When I was high school, I honestly had no idea of what I wanted to major in for my college education. I had truly considered not attending college at all. Until I finally realized, baking has always been nuanced into my life and it became a subject that I had wanted to pursue. I love being able to create edible masterpieces that bring smiles to people’s face simply by eating my desserts. I have had the opportunity to participate in all different advanced pastry classes, which has allowed to better perfect my craft of baking. It helped me to become more comfortable as a baker and truly understand the talent that I was given as an aspiring pastry chef.

mango mousse plated with kiwi and oranges

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

Many students barely know that there is a hospitality management program within the college which leads them to be unknowledgeable about what the college offers to students. There is a dining room located on the second floor of the Namm Building which is utilized to house guests to eat the meals and desserts that the hospitality students have prepared. Anyone can make a reservation by simply visiting the hospitality management office. When you arrive there, you can decide whether you want to dine for lunch or dinner, the date you wish to reserve, and the number of guests that will be attending.

a cupcake covered with toasted coconut chips and plated with diced mangoes

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

It is one of the most amazing experiences; personally I have both prepared foods for the dining room guests and been a guest. And it is truly a great food experience especially since it is free of any cost. So help yourself to a good meal and dessert or get the glass of wine to pair with your food. But if you choose to tip, which is absolutely accepted, it will be donated to either the City Tech Foundation or CHiPS. The City Tech Foundation funds the college and makes serving to the guests in the dining room possible. CHiPS (Christian Help in Park Slope) is a small community in Brooklyn that serves to aid hot, nutritious meals to the underprivileged as well as offering offer seasonal clothing, emergency pantry items, and shelter in a caring and respectful environment.  There are so many opportunities that lie within the doors of CityTech, but we must seek them out in order to appreciate the greater impact that the college has.

A Stroll Down Memory Lane at City Tech

Note: This is a non-food and restaurant related post. This is merely a reflection of my years at City Tech and majoring in Hospitality Management.

I started my degree in Hospitality Management late in 2009, because I didn’t feel comfortable or interested in Communication Design. While it wasn’t easy at first in Hospitality Management and getting through college, it’s everything to me now.

I must admit I didn’t like 1/4 of the classes in hospitality management merely because it didn’t interest me or it was math related and I’m not very good in math (i.e. – cost control and accounting & finance).


I took Baking 1 & 2 which were two of the hardest classes I’ve taken because I’m not very good at baking and both were late afternoon classes that ended at 7-7:30PM. My boyfriend would stay late at work (he works on Montague Street) and swing over to pick me up  and in return, he ended up with all the desserts, cookies, and bread that was made in class. Fair trade right?

food dishes

I took Culinary 1 & 2 on Saturday mornings (almost a mistake), but I got lucky because both classes were taught by one of the most down-to-earth and easy going professors: Professor Tomlinson. I learned a lot about cooking, food, and how to plate food which was very helpful. My boyfriend would also get up at 6:30-7AM to drive me to class and pick me up on most days after.

dining room tables

I also took Dining Room & Operations which was very fun and taught me a lot about what to look for that may be a red flag when dining outside.


During the Dining Room class, we were required to go to a fine dining restaurant in New York City and I chose Asiate. I typically don’t do fine dining, but this was a nice, once in a lifetime experience and especially since it had a beautiful view of Central Park & Columbus Circle.

a city building with the words "ON POINT WITH DOWNTOWN: 'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Explore. Dream. Discover.' -Mark Twain"

Last year, I also took Hospitality Marketing with Professor Duchamp which I admire because he’s very much into social media and Twitter. I’m not sure how other marketing professors teach, but if you’ve taken Professor Duchamp in Hospitality Marketing, then you know for the final project you have to create a tour and a website using Square Space. Unfortunately the website I created is inactive, but here’s a screenshot I took during the production.

A lot of friends I know don’t like writing and I was told Research Seminar would be the hardest classes, but it turned out to be my favorite because I was able to combine a hobby that I like to do with my project and it worked out perfectly.

a food shop

This is my last semester as a full-time student and I am taking Hospitality Services Marketing and one assignment was to do a comparison of two Hospitality enterprises so I did Chelsea Market vs. Eataly, two of New York City’s most popular food hall. I’ve never been to Eataly before, so I went for the very first time in April and it was a great and fun experience. I’m also taking Hospitality Enterprise Development and our project for the semester is building a business plan of our own. It was due today and hopefully I did well on it.

a magazine article

Outside of my classes and before Openlab was created, I was writing for the New Tech Times for 1-2 years. It was definitely not as engaging or fun as writing for The Buzz. I am very happy that City Tech created Openlab as it provides a space for students and faculty to share their creativity, but also a chance for student bloggers to express their passion and creativity through images and words.

This is my final post for The Buzz and although I haven’t been heavily involved in our meetings due to work obligations, I did enjoy collaborating with my team mates and reading their posts. I also enjoyed being a Hospitality Student because it really opened me up and I was able to visit sites I wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for my classes. If you’re still interested in reading my works, you can check out my personal food blog or my Yelp page. If you would like to contact me anything related to food, blogging or social media, you can shoot me an e-mail: jessdeng08@gmail.com.

Thank You! Have a great summer!

Why I Chose Hospitality Management

When I first started to attend City Tech, way back when when I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, who I would end up meeting, what would happen, would I hate college life and so much more. I began City Tech, majoring in Communication Design because at that point I liked art and design, but when I got a taste of it I wasn’t happy

All of my family and friends say that I had a knack for going out to eat and cooking.. My family and friends told me maybe I should pursue a degree in Culinary Arts, I knew at that point City Tech offered a Hospitality Management program so I began exploring this option and asking around about what can I expect.

I changed my course of study and decided to begin a new journey to find my passion and to see if I was happy in Hospitality Management. At first I didn’t enjoy it because I didn’t have much people skills and was going through a tough time in my life. I picked myself up one day and told myself that I needed to really get the ball rolling and immerse myself more into Hospitality Management.

a set table

One class I have taken was Dining Room and I really enjoyed it. I liked that everyone had a chance to be a different role, person each day whether it be a front server, back server, captain, dishwasher, and etc. Our final project was to design a table for a choice between 4 to 6 guests and we also had to have a theme. The theme my group and I did was a vintage, classic look which I thought was very beautiful and elegant.

desserts and food dishes

I am all squared away with my Baking and Culinary classes and I miss it. I honestly enjoyed Culinary a lot more than Baking. I’ve never seen myself as a Baker or Pastry Arts type of person. I was fortunate enough to have Culinary 1 & Culinary 2 with the same professor (Professor Tomlinson) both classes on a Saturday. Culinary 2 is suppose to be a lot more intense, but he made it very enjoyable and not crazy.

eight food dishes

Culinary class opened my eyes and heart up because there were a lot of foods that I thought I would never enjoy like Salad Nicoise, deviled eggs, French onion soup, polenta, and a lot more. I ate things I never thought I would and because of that I am a little more accepting in trying new foods.

This semester and for my last two semesters, I am or will be taking all lecture classes. I must admit it’s different, but it’s a lot to learn and a lot to take in.

I like hospitality because I get to explore different areas of the business and I’ve found that I enjoy marketing/social media.

I like hospitality because it allows me to share my creativity and love for food and marketing.

I like Hospitality because it’s about providing an unforgettable experience for guests.

What are you majoring in? Why do you enjoy it?