The Culinary Arts Bistro will provide Bob Jones University culinary students with hands-on experience in restaurant-style food preparation while providing cost-effective gourmet food to BJU’s campus.
The Bistro opens from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays in the Culinary Arts building in front of the Academy Gym. The Bistro will run select Fridays on Sept. 20, Sept. 27, Oct. 18, Oct. 25, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8.
Chef David Miller, the faculty member in charge of the program, explained that the Bistro will face some interesting challenges due to a smaller than usual class size.
While the culinary arts program as a whole actually has more students this year than it has in the past, only three students are currently in the practicum program responsible for the Bistro. Miller said that having only a few people working in the kitchen at a time is relatively common for restaurant environments.
Miller explained that because of the smaller number of students this year, there will not be front of house servers. The Bistro guests will order from the front counter instead of being seated.
Miller said this complication presents advantages and disadvantages.
“The advantage is that . . . it should be a little faster experience for the guests, but it also puts pressure on the kitchen to make sure the food gets out in a timely manner,” Miller said.
Miller explained the value of students participating in the Bistro lies in this program’s ability to simulate a restaurant environment where you have to accommodate guests.
Miller said students may face unexpected challenges such as guests with special dietary needs, rushes and many other problems faced by people working in a restaurant.
According to Culinary Arts student Sara Severson, students gain experience performing a variety of different duties in the kitchen by switching around three stations. All the dishes served are prepared completely from scratch and made to order in the kitchen.
Menu offerings include sandwiches, pastas, soups, salads and more. Food will be served in microwaveable to-go containers and guests may sit down in the Culinary Arts building to eat or take their food with them to eat later. Payment in cash, credit, debit and check is accepted.
Along with the Bistro, Culinary Arts retail will also be available every Friday until 1:30 p.m. in the lobby of the same building selling baked goods. Culinary Arts retail is run by freshman students from the bake shop class.
Miller said the culinary arts baking department is working with Aramark to create wholesale items for the Den and Cuppa Jones to provide the Culinary Arts program with additional exposure.