After a few promising soft launches to help work out the kinks, Belmont Secondary School’s grand opening of a student-run bistro Tuesday had dozens of hungry students eagerly waiting in line.
With repairs being done to the cafeteria this year, most students elect to order from Skip the Dishes or go to McDonald’s or Quality Foods for lunch time, said Grade 12 student Emily Zweers, who is in the culinary arts program that runs the bistro.
“I think the gist of it is that there wasn’t really a good food program here,” said Stephen Letts, the bistro’s assistant chef.
The students have been in the program for two full months and were “on top of their game,” said Andrea Harvey, the program’s lead instructor. They’ve been working with Harvey on a lot of planning and brainstorming sessions to come up with ideas while their kitchen was being renovated, helping design the menu and figure out student needs.
“They’ve really demonstrated how they can work as a team and how they can actually put everything together,” she said.
Tuesday’s menus included a homemade corned beef on focaccia with pickles and caesar salad for $7, a vegetable and tomato soup option, and had butter tarts butter cream sandwich and sugar cookies for dessert. Previous items have included roast chicken with rice and veggies and grilled cheese and ham sandwiches, all costing about the same as a Big Mac combo.
Zweers said she sees the class as an opportunity to earn both class credits and experience.
“If you have a passion for cooking, it can give you a feel for what an actual kitchen feels like,” she said.