There are several food establishments in the area, but why leave campus when you can get more bang for your buck? You receive a full service dining experience while “you’re close enough to where you have to be. It’s a different universe when you step through those doors!”, says Elizabeth Sloat, DTR, Lead Dietary Technician of the Culinary Department.
The Culinary department has their own student-run restaurant, the Culinary Café, and “They take the food from 0 to 100”, “The service here is what you would get at a fine dining establishment.” For $12, you get a 5-course meal during two periods; at 11:30 and again at 12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Culinary Café is run by second year students, who organize, create, and execute the menus. Similar to a final, the culinary students use the café as a means of experience in the real world; learning how to run a restaurant, operating in a working kitchen and handling patrons.
All the food is prepped and made fresh every morning. “Some places aren’t as good at preparing fresh food daily, we do everything we can to produce quality meals,” says Sloat. The culinary students get really creative with the menus; incorporating new ideas, elevating the sophistication.
Vegetarian options have been made easily available for students who have dietary restrictions. According to Sloat, “our head chef Philip McGrath likes to make the base of his soups with vegetable stock.” There are meals for everyone. And for those who are meat lovers, the restaurant serves quality protein from local vendors which include filet mignon, venison and elk.
Spring semester was the first time they held a bar and beverage class, Bar and Beverage Management, where they learned how to make a variety of mocktails; simulating what would be made at a bar. They created cool drinks like the Chester Chill; ginger ale with a splash of blackberry soda and a blackberry ice cube. “It’s just taking it to another level.”
The success of the Café has shown evident with their bookings filling up fast for the remainder of the semester. Although seats are quickly being reserved, there aren’t enough students coming to the restaurant as much as the campus staff. “There is usually a blast email sent to faculty and staff of the upcoming menus, but we’re trying to reform and send an email to students as well,” says Sloat.
The department is adamant on making students aware of the services and events they are offering. One of these events is the Great Chefs Series, which will begin in October. During this four week period, celebrity chefs from surrounding areas will come in and prep in our kitchens. Restaurants like Fortina and Bartaco are just few of the many popular local eateries that will be featured at the event.
Call their dedicated reservation phone line at 914-606-6803 to reserve your seat today!