The new student run restaurant at Chattahoochee Technical College’s Mountain View Campus is just about ready to open. Fresh paint, new furniture and a new name have students, faculty and staff ready to try some of the delectable creations this semester. Now called degrees, the restaurant is open a limited number of days each semester beginning Oct. 28.
“About a year ago we sat down and began thinking about how we could update this area,” explained Program Director and Instructor Chef Hilary Gallagher. “We realized that the café needed a facelift and early in 2014 we set out to do just that.”
Housed in the same campus as the college’s Interiors program, Gallagher said she approached Interiors Instructor Ginger Burton about the process. Interiors students presented design concepts and the new look started to take form.
“We wanted to make it more contemporary,” said Gallagher. “But more importantly it had to be functional.”
Tables used in the space previously were not easily moved with their heavy bases. Available in only two sizes, the tables lacked cohesiveness to allow larger groups to dine together. The new tables allow various size groups with a smaller footprint, as well as add to the contemporary look with a design that Gallagher said is one of only two of its kind in the state so far.
In addition to a restaurant, the space serves as a classroom to students. While the primary purpose of the program is food preparation, students in the program use the restaurant as a way to learn to work with the public and even such details as beverage service and computer programs required in the industry.
More than just the faculty of the college’s culinary program are excited about the new look. Students, who work both in the kitchen and front of the house for the program are thrilled with the new design. The seniors in the program, who are gearing up to cook for the restaurant, are putting the finishing touches on the menu. Most, according to Gallagher, have already invited friends and family to make a reservation for lunch.
“It has been interesting to see everyone putting their minds to work on this menu,” said CTC Culinary Arts Student Alexa Izzet of Jasper. “We’re looking at what the concept should be, what sides we can pair with each dish and what sauces will work best.”
Chattahoochee Technical College offers diploma and degree programs through its respected Culinary Arts program at the Mountain View Campus. The 62-hour degree program prepares students for the culinary profession. The program emphasizes a combination of culinary theory and practical application necessary for successful employment. Graduates who are current practitioners will benefit through enhancement of career potential. Those entering the culinary arts field will be prepared to pursue diverse opportunities as cooks, bakers or caterers/culinary managers.
Previously Izzet had studied art history and French, but realized that her passion toward culinary was stronger. A few months away from finishing the program, she is working at an Italian restaurant in Roswell and hopes to continue there after graduation.
“This drives me,” she said of her experience. “It is fun and interesting. Studying food is never ending.”
For more information on Chattahoochee Technical College and its programs of study, visit www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu. To make a reservation for lunch, visit http://www.chattahoocheetech.edu/contact-us/degrees-thediningroom/.