Central Campus Cafe Teaching Students ‘Real World’ Experience

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DES MOINES, Iowa – High School students are serving up more than just burgers and fries at the Central Campus café.

Once a week the students run a professional café in the multi-purpose room at Central Campus.

They cater to the public, and do private events as well.

It starts at the beginning of the week when students in the culinary class are asked to create a menu. From that, Culinary Arts Instructor John Andres takes suggestions and works with the class to see which meals goes best with each other to create a perfect menu.

Andres said the idea is to give students a taste of what the real world is like in the culinary field.

“The most challenging part at the beginning of the semester is that it is just like opening a brand new restaurant with all new employees. Except, these employees have little to no experience for the most part running a restaurant. They learn very quickly. They have a lot of fun doing it,” Andres said.

Andres said from the menu to the food preparation, students take the lead.

When the café is open students become not only the chefs, but also the servers.

Second year student Michale Anderson said he has always had a passion for cooking.

“Being able to serve people good food, and the look on their face. I think if you are able to serve someone a dish, if they are having a bad day it makes their day good. It’s just rewarding,” Anderson said.

The menu is posted each with to the café’s Facebook page.

This week, the kitchen is open Friday from 10:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 1800 Grand Avenue, Des Moines.