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The Collegian

Bistro provides real-life culinary experience

Abby Hughes and Robin Michaels practice their food preparation skills for the upcoming Bistro. Photo: Ethan Rogers

Today, while some students are in line for PB&J at Grab ‘n Go, others will be in line for edible masterpieces at this semester’s opening of the Bistro.

Starting today from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., and continuing every Friday until Thanksgiving break, the sophomore culinary students at the Culinary Arts Retail Building will be cooking and serving to the public what they like to call “elegant comfort food.”

Chef Cary Jacquette, a faculty member in the culinary arts program known affectionately by his students as “Chef Jacket,” said “Bistro” is a cover name for the “game situation,” because it’s a learning environment that imitates a real restaurant.

Bistro is a key part of the culinary program because it prepares students for the uncertainty of working in a kitchen. “It’s putting us in a real life situation where we have to control everything,” said Abby Hughes, a sophomore culinary arts student.

Additionally, because Bistro is completely student run, the culinary students get to fully experience the pressure of the restaurant business. “It’s basically like we get to own our own business for a day,” Hughes said.

Chef Rob Hansen, a faculty member in the culinary arts program, said Bistro allows students to use the theoretical cooking techniques they’ve been learning in a practical way.

Another purpose of Bistro is for students to learn how to make good food at a fast pace. Jacquette said that a natural rhythm develops when you work in a kitchen, and the students will be able to experience this through Bistro.

In addition, Bistro will provide the faculty and students at BJU with delicious, yet fast and inexpensive food. Jacquette has created a new menu this year that is “still nice and fancy but has a lot of home-style elements to it,” Hughes said.

Students will find that Bistro provides tasty options for every palate. In addition to traditional American dishes, Jacquette has created a diverse menu that includes Asian, Latin American and Cuban flavors. All of the recipes are made with fresh ingredients, and the menu contains unique and interesting dishes, such as grown-up grilled cheese, hanger steak salad (Jacquette’s favorite dish on the menu), Asian grilled shrimp and peanut butter pie. “It’s food that you can’t get anywhere else on campus,” Jacquette said.

Even though Bistro will be busier between noon and 1 p.m., its café-style format will allow for consistently quick service. And for those who are in a rush, Bistro also has a smaller takeout menu with soups and sandwiches.

Bistro is affordable for day students and residence hall students alike, with the most expensive menu item being $5.50. And if you don’t have cash, you can use your BJU ID card to charge your meal to your school account.

Although they’re aware of the challenges that will come, the students and faculty are excited for Bistro this year.    “I’m looking forward to just seeing what our class can do and what we can come up with,” Hughes said.

Jacquette said he’s looking forward to watching his students grow as culinarians and develop more confidence in their ability to produce food in a pressured environment.

Supporting your fellow students has never been so easy. Come to Bistro in the culinary arts building across from the dry cleaners Friday afternoons and enjoy delicious A+ creations by a group of students who are passionate about hard work, fun and, most importantly, food.   

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Bistro provides real-life culinary experience