4 Cocktails Inspired by the Florida Keys

Providing a taste of paradise to the City of Brotherly Love, the Florida Keys & Key West Cook-Off offered 24 contestants the chance to face-off for a trip to the beautiful Florida Keys. Hosted here at Walnut Hill College, this unique event brought together some of Philadelphia’s top food influencers, chefs, and bartenders. Amidst the food and frenzy, four of Philadelphia’s hardest working and most talented bartenders were invited to stir and shake up their best Keys-inspired cocktail. Here’s what they came up with.

Breeze Way

Nickolas Brozek – Dim Sum House

This twist on an island favorite features gin, subtle hints of vanilla, and key lime shrub, topped with egg white.

Key Lime Sake Shrub
Vanilla Meringue

The Black Pearl

Seamus Banning – Vesper

Eucalyptus, bitter citrus, and spice affably dance with molasses in this dark rum cocktail. However, its color remains as mysterious as The Black Pearl.

Dark Rum
Fernet Branca
Grapefruit Juice
Lime Juice
Vanilla Spice Syrup
Activated Charcoal

Papa’s Punch

Michelle Curtis – Whetstone Tavern

In honor of Hemmingway’s fishing nickname, this refreshing rum punch features flavors of basil, strawberry, and pineapple. With these flavors, Papa’s Punch is practically begging to be sipped after a hot day in the Florida sun.

Strawberry Basil Syrup
White Cacao

Mother of the Dragon

Kimberly Shurig – Fine Palate

With a name like Mother of the Dragon, you know this one is going to be powerful. It features tequila and dragon fruit with a hint of habanero-infused simple syrup over fresh ice, garnished with a lime peel, dragon fruit skin, and cilantro.

Dragon Fruit
Habanero-Infused Simple Syrup

Seamus Banning from Vesper Club won out for best cocktail of the night and will receive a two-night stay at the Margaritaville Resort & Marina in Key West. Which cocktail would you sip on the beach?

€œLaissez les bons temps rouler! € €”or as you may know it, €œLet the good times roll! €

The spirit of New Orleans was alive and well in Philadelphia at our annual Walnut Hill College Mardi Gras celebration. The Mardi Gras parades are known all over the world for their bright colors, bold costumes, and over-the-top festivities, and our students and staff pulled out all the stops to recreate some of the drama of this popular holiday!

Today €™s party literally included all the bells and whistles of a traditional Mardi Gras celebration, as members of our Hospitality Engagement Club paraded through the Courtyard donning masks and using noisemakers to rally their fellow students. Beads rained down from our rooftop deck into the crowd, another tribute to the New Orleans celebration that made the day all the more exciting! And of course, our clubs featured everything from freshly-made pierogies straight from our kitchens to Mardi Gras inspired mocktails. Thanks to all of our students and staff for an awesome turnout and some amazing food, beverages, and memorably good times!

Best of luck to all of our students, staff, and faculty in the Year of the Monkey!

On Monday, the Walnut Hill College family got together for yet another exciting event: our annual Chinese New Year celebration! As always, the Student Activities Department put together a festive display in our Courtyard and several of our clubs came out in full force to celebrate 2016, the Year of the Monkey.

Students took part in a Chinese tea tasting and tea trivia game courtesy of the Foodie and Yearbook clubs. Cocktail Club delighted the masses with Orange Blossom mocktails, while our Arts Appreciation Club invited students to design and create their own pieces of artwork to commemorate the occasion. To top it all off, our Hospitality Engagement Club treated everyone to an amazing display and tasting of homemade fortune cookies! It was truly a fantastic event and we can €™t wait to top it next year!

Ready. Set. Action.

Thanks Iron Knife Films  and Properpix!

For the launch of our new website, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College teamed up with Iron Knife Films and Properpix for what turned out to be our most amazing video and photo shoot yet! Preparation began early in the morning with the arranging of lush flowers, dramatic candles, and fine place settings in our Italian Trattoria as part of a fantastic tablescape scene featuring some of our Management students. Lights and cameras adorned just about every corner of every kitchen and dining room to capture our talented students in action as they prepped, cooked, and plated an eclectic array of dishes.

We didn €™t want to miss a single moment of the amazing work our students created, so our shoot went on well into the evening, wrapping just after midnight! It was hard work, but we are truly proud of the final product and are excited to share it with everyone. Thank you to all of the teams at Iron Knife Films and Properpix as well as all of the students and staff members who played a part in today €™s shoot.

Our Associate Degree students travel to France, Walt Disney World, and the Bahamas! Bon Voyage!

During the month of January, our graduating associate students all went on once-in-a-lifetime international trips as part of the tuition-paid travel opportunities at Walnut Hill College! First up, our A.S. in Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts students embarked on an eight-day exploration of France. Their adventure began in the Champagne region, where they discovered one of France €™s luxury champagne houses. Then they traveled to Burgundy, Dijon, Beaune, Auxerre, and finally Paris, all while enjoying action-packed days of tours and tastings in each city. Every afternoon, students took advantage of free time for shopping, dining, and discovering the special charms of France.

Here in the states, our A.S. in Restaurant Management and Hotel Management students escaped the bitter cold on a cruise and resort trip to Florida and the Bahamas. While on their trip, students received an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Disney €™s hospitality suites and visited other Florida resort destinations, including Saratoga Springs, Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood at Universal CityWalk, Disney €™s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, and Arnold Palmer €™s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. On their way to the Bahamas, students enjoyed an amazing getaway on Carnival Cruise Lines that culminated in a stay at the breathtaking Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. All of our students who went away this month returned with unbelievable memories and experiences that they are sure to carry with them as they continue their studies at Walnut Hill College and beyond in their future endeavors.

Congratulations to all of the Pineapple pin and Certificate winners €“ we are so proud of your hard work!

Today we recognized the best and brightest of our student body at our Student Life and Learning Awards ceremony. We encourage our students to get involved on and off campus in a variety of activities that serve not only the Walnut Hill College community but also the Greater Philadelphia area. Students receive what are known as Student Life and Learning Points for their efforts and, at the end of every term, the students who receive the most points are invited to a ceremony where we celebrate their outstanding school spirit and service work. Given pineapple pins, a symbol of hospitality, and official certificates, we hope they are all proud to share their achievements with everyone. Congratulations to all of today €™s winners!

Our Bachelor of Science Class delivers on PHLAVOR at their new pop-up restaurant!

From January 6 to February 5, the graduating class at Walnut Hill College will transform the International Bistro into a unique gastronomic experience called PHLAVOR. This pop-up event will highlight the diverse neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia with inspired dishes. The prix-fixe menu is $21 and offers a choice in each of the 3 courses: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. PHLAVOR offers a unique menu that not only allows diners to enjoy new dishes in an award-winning ambiance, but also allows them to contribute to the growth of our young hospitality professionals.

PHLAVOR is a gastronomic experience like no other. The entire restaurant is a collaborative effort of the graduating class at Walnut Hill College. Everything is executed by the students, from the front of the house staff to the kitchens. The concept of PHLAVOR is based on the diverse culture of Philadelphia. There are inspired dishes from areas like South Philly, Kensington, and many more! Not only do we offer a three-course menu celebrating Philadelphia, but also we have a customized drink menu available. The menu offers unique cocktails as well as a beer flight from local breweries. We encourage you to come out and experience PHLAVOR before it’s gone!