DENISON, TX - Grayson County College is mixing it up when it comes to culinary arts classes. Students are polishing their skills while gaining actual workforce experience all under one roof.
It looks like an actual restaurant, because it is. But those aren't waiters and chefs, they're students. And right now they're in class.
"We have two classes that work together,"said Culinary Director Rusty Weatherly. "We have a front of the house class that operates the restaurant and then a back of the house class are aspiring chefs making fine dining dishes for the public to come in and eat."
About a year and a half ago community members told Grayson County College that there was a serious need for skilled service industry workers in Texoma. That's when they came up with the idea for a new culinary arts service center that would integrate education and experience. They received a two million dollar grant, built the facility, and now they're open for business.
"Very few schools have this nice of a facility," said Jeanie Hardin, GCC Vice President for Instruction "We want the community to come out and enjoy a nice dinner.
The new learning center truly is a hands-on facility allowing students to walk directly out of the classroom straight on to the serving floor of a fully functioning fine dining restaurant.
"People trying to get out and get into the workforce," said Weatherly, "the hands on experience that they get here is invaluable."
The restaurant is open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11am to 12: 30pm and seats by reservation only.
"This is the best thing that Grayson County has going as far as our college, said culinary student Victoria Jackson. "I love this culinary program. And that we can do both all in one is excellent. It is"
All revenue goes back into the program and all tips go into a fund that will be used to pay for student's future trips to culinary conferences.