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Student restaurateurs
get taste of food institute

By Kristen Moss

Patrons of the Lenoir Dining program experienced a change of scenery when the popular student-run restaurant shifted its operation to the National Food Service Management Institute for April. The move was designed to enhance the learning experience for students who plan, prepare and serve meals for Lenoir Dining, said Mary Roseman, chair and associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management.

"The Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management and the National Food Service Management Institute are partners within the School of Applied Sciences," Roseman said. "The institute has a very nice institutional kitchen, and we wanted to give our students experience in such an excellent kitchen facility. The large observation window also was a plus for diners. It was nice for our guests to see our students in action."

Montee Gaddy, a senior nutrition major from Long Beach, liked the change of venue.

"The kitchen was more professional," Gaddy said. "There was a more professional way of cooking with better equipment."

Lenoir Dining is a required laboratory for students majoring in dietetics and hospitality management. Students enrolled in the 5-credit-hour lecture and lab of Quantity Food Production and Services learn by operating a 40-seat restaurant normally located in Lenoir Hall, headquarters of the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management. The students do everything from coming up with the menu and preparing the food to managing the restaurant and serving all guests.

"We try to format our operation like a restaurant-type setting," Roseman said. "We have a nice atmosphere in the dining room. It's a small, intimate setting, where people can come with friends and family and have an enjoyable meal, and it's all being done by the students in the class."

James Beard Award-nominated Chef Lee Craven is executive chef for the program, and students often work one-on-one with him when preparing meals.

"The experience is great," said Anna Ray Snellgrove, a senior from Luverne, Ala., majoring in hospitality management. "Not all of us would have gotten this experience had we not been in this department."

The eatery, which is open to the public, will resume operation in the fall in Lenoir Hall, which underwent renovations this spring.

Lenoir Dining offers lunch 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and dinner 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The menu, which changes from week to week, features a choice of two salads, two desserts and three entrees, including a vegetarian selection. Entrees are $7.50 each, and salads and desserts are $1.50 apiece. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 662-915-1863.

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