Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Culinary program serves guests

Alberto Gomez
Cep powder rolled beef tenderloin, an entree dish on the menu, is plated.

Guests were welcomed by students of Dallas College’s Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality program. Diners are introduced to what looks like a high-class restaurant while the sounds of pans moving from stove to stove and kitchen staff yelling out orders to be fired up fill the air. 

Students will be the servers for the day; all are dressed in black dress shirts and pants, finishing up any last-minute preparations for the service ahead.

It is clear from the beginning that guests attending the CPH Center on Webb Chapel Road and Forest Lane are in for a treat, as once seated by the student hosting the day’s lunch service the menu is presented for the day. 

The server welcomes guests with a basket of freshly baked bread accompanied by a butter spread to go along with the mocktail of the day. The mocktail, a mango twist – a blend of mango juice balanced with lime juice and a hint of mint – tasted like sparkling mango water, it was a refreshing drink to go along with what was to come.

The servers brought the appetizer when the guests were ready for it. Egg hooper, a savory crepe served with an egg and caramelized onion relish on top, was presented. A vegan option without the eggs was also offered. The smooth and silky texture of the crepe, along with the caramelized onion relish, gave a slight sweetness to the dish. The egg was cooked sunny side up, allowing the yolk to drip on to the crepe when cut into and giving it a rich buttery flavor, which tied the whole dish together.

As the wait for the entree was going on, commands could be heard from Patrick Stark, a culinary professor who acted as the back of house instructor, communicating with chef of the day Nic Nathanielsz and the other chefs working the kitchen. 

Sheila Hyde, chair for the Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality Department, said: “The unique thing about our classes is that the students create the menus. It’s their opportunity to showcase their skills they have learnt during the year.” 

When the entree came out, the aroma of a steak cooked to a perfect medium rare with a red wine and sloe gin sauce was presented, along with the side dishes of charred turnips, asparagus and a mini crust pie stuffed with beef and bits of stilton cheese. 

The servers were kind and aware. They checked up on all the guests. “This is giving them hands-on experience working with the public people and everyday life situations when working in a restaurant environment,” Amanda Stephens, hospitality adjunct faculty and front of house instructor, said.

Stephens said: “We want the students to leave here with the responsibility and managerial skills needed to handle a disgruntled customer or employee. They go through all those steps here, whether in the front or back of the house.” 

Toward the end of the service, the dessert choice for the day was a strawberry and rhubarb sherbet topped with spiced cream. The strawberry’s sweet flavor and the hint of citrus from the rhubarb made the sherbet taste like strawberry lemonade. The spiced cream topping added more of a creamy texture to the whole dessert when mixed. 

“Everyone here wants to be here and everyone here is from somewhere different trying to promote themselves for the future,” Aiden Cornforth, a hospitality student, said.

With lunch service ending, flocks of satisfied customers headed toward the exit. “Fantastic service, great testing mocktails and entrees, but the dessert was definitely the best in my opinion,” Jaris Williams, dean of students and engagement at Brookhaven Campus, said.

With the lunch service concluding, servers began to pick up plates and utensils from the last few tables.

Williams said, “I will definitely be back.” The attendance from residents is beneficial in helping the students gain experience while also showing support to both the program and its students. Hyde said: “People enjoy giving back, and they want to give to the students. They want to feel that the future is bright, and they want to see what the next generation of people can do and interact with them.” 

With two locations providing lunch services, the CPH Center focuses on international themes, serving lunch on Tuesdays, and El Centro Campus offers American regional lunch services on Thursdays. 

The Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality Center will continue to host lunch services on Tuesdays until the end of April. Reservations can be made on the Dallas College website under the Culinary and Hospitality Institute tab. 

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