State College, Pa- Students in culinary arts classes at State College Area High School are opening a new restaurant that’s open to the public.
WTAJ was inside the school’s kitchens today as students prepared for their first meal service Wedenesday evening at their restaurant named “Centre Plate”.
In Tuesday’s class, students were sharpening up on a few skills before opening night. The idea of a student-run restaurant was part of instructor Zach Lorber’s goal to make students feel like they’re in a real restaurant kitchen, and dining room during dinner time.
“The goal is to give students, real-life restaurant experience…. so they’ll learn front of house, they’ll learn back of house. They’ll learn to cook… they’ll learn to do dishes, and they’ll feel the pressure of a real restaurant before they’re into a paid position in the real world,” said Lorber, the Culinary Arts Instructor at State College Area High School.
Lorber says one of the biggest pressure felt in a kitchen during the dinner rush is to get the meals out quickly, while maintaining their quality.
“Nobody wants to sit in a restaurant waiting for a basic dinner,” he said.
Many students in Lorber’s classes have aspriations towards a career in culinary arts.
“It’s prepared me for the fast pace that you have to finish food…. and making all the food, seeing how to cut it and everything,” said Chyna Rodriguez a senior student in the culinary arts program at State College Area High School.
After spending more than an hour in the kitchen with the student chefs, it was obvious that many of them were prepared for any challenge thrown their direction. Preparedness for an unpredictable situation… something Lorber values in his teaching.
“The best way to learn in my opinion is to dive feet first… go right into it, learn hands-on,” Lorber said.
Reservations are full for Wendesday evening’s dinner. But, there will be themed dinners held each month at the restaurant, located inside State College Area High School.