Café Burier is a student operated restaurant by dietetic and culinary students at Eastern Kentucky University.
Chef Sangwook Kang is over Café Burrier, teaching the students quantity food production, restaurant management and hospitality. The students serve as managers, chefs and other positions, allowing full hands-on experience in every facet of a restaurant.
“It teaches me a lot for my future career and is making me look forward to what I will be doing later,” said Brianna Starr, a junior dietetics major from Lexington. “I really like serving food to people and working with different positions in the kitchen.”
Café Burrier is designed to educate juniors in the dietetics program. In 2020, EKU started the new concentration, culinary nutrition and food management, allowing even more students to benefit from the experience offered in Café Burrier.
Chef Kang provides the students with a standardized recipe, expecting them to calculate, prepare and portion out the appropriate amount of food to serve the number of reserved guests. The students make a different meal every lab, practicing to ensure quality, quantity and nutrition facts through different cooking methods, cultural items and spices that they normally might have not come across.
Traditionally, Café Burrier is a sit-down restaurant located in room 302 in the Burrier Building where customers would be served by dietetic students. Due to COVID-19, food is reserved online and picked up by takeout. Café Burrier serves $9 meals every Tuesday and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
“It is a completely different experience that Café Burrier has never had before, but it is a really positive learning experience for us because now we can see how food service can still uphold food safety and still get tasty food out to customers,” said Ann-Maria Baas, a junior dietetics major from Danville, KY.
Café Burrier allows the students to use knowledge that they have learned in other classes. The Café Burrier lab is from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are a total of 13 students, but due to COVID-19 regulations, they are split and assigned to work either Tuesday or Thursday.
The students dress in black pants, white long sleeve chef coat, apron, black chef hat, hair net and black closed toe shoes. Due to the pandemic, students also wear face masks, gloves and social distance in the kitchen.
Once the customers who placed online orders have received their food, the students are allowed to eat together as the kitchen staff.
“Students have been always enjoying the foods they made,” said Chef Kang, assistant professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences. “Since the food is also served to the public, they are very proud of what they made.”
Café Burrier is an invaluable tool to prepare the students in the dietetic program for a year of internship after graduation and then proceeding to take the national exam in order to become a registered dietitian. A large amount of the questions on the exam are food service related.
“Previous EKU students that I have spoken with said that Café Burrier has been an essential to them passing this exam because the majority of things on the exam we covered in this class,” Baas said.
EKU dietetic and culinary students recognize that Café Burrier is essential in allowing them to have hands-on experience in the kitchen before graduation.
“We would appreciate it if the EKU campus supported Café Burrier,” Baas said. “It is a great meal and a really great experience for us. The more people that order, the better it is for us because that gives us the opportunity to really dive into food quantity production.”
To see the Café Burrier menu, visit: https://ahs.eku.edu/sites/ahs.eku.edu/files/sp21menu.pdf. To make an online food reservation, visit: https://www.supersaas.com/schedule/CafeBurrier/Lunch. For further Café Burrier information or to ask questions, call 859-622-3445.