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Oct. 3, 2012
By Philip Gruenwald, media relations assistant
Students in dietetics and food service management majors will host four Friday Night Cafés this fall, featuring internationally inspired meals and decor.
Italy, Jamaica, Germany and Guatemala are the themes for the café nights Oct. 26, Nov. 9, Nov. 16 and Nov. 30, respectively, on the third floor of the Administration Building. The meals will be served from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 years old and younger, and are available at the Student Services Center located on the first floor of the Administration Building. Friday Night Cafés are limited to 50 guests per evening.
Friday Night Café satisfies the lab requirement for the quantity foods class, taught by Nutrition and Dietetics Instructor Karen From. The Northwest community strongly embraces Friday Night Cafés, which typically sell out, From said.
“It’s a chance to support the students – the junior and senior dietetics and food service management majors,” From said. “They produce quality food, and it’s decorated so well that it’s like leaving Maryville and going to a different country.”
Each aspect of the evening – including the theme, menu selection, pricing and décor – is prepared by teams of students. Combined with classroom lectures, the hands-on education gained from the Friday Night Café offers a rich educational experience, said senior Kendra Quick, a dietetics major from St. Joseph.
“It seems like a lot of work, but honestly it’s a phenomenal experience,” Quick said. “This is how we’re going to gain our skills and understand how teams work in the kitchen so that we’re able to apply that within our career.”
Quick and senior Lauren Gramann, a food service management major from Platte City, are part of the team coordinating the Guatemala-themed café night Nov. 30. Their meal will be offered plate style instead of the usual buffet style, which is a logistical challenge that requires careful planning. Gramann said she believes the hard work will prepare her for a future career in restaurant ownership.
“It’s exactly like running a real restaurant, because we’re working in teams and are responsible for all aspects of the evening,” Gramann said.
The effort, time and planning involved in each Friday Night Café allows students to learn about the food service industry and also themselves, From said.
“It’s exciting to see students grow and make something from nothing and see it come into fruition,” From said. “It’s such a satisfaction to see them say, ‘I did it!’ I get to see personalities and strengths in students that I didn’t know because I hadn’t seen them in that capacity before.”
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468