A Service Professional

By Daniel Singer

If you have ever been a student here at Walnut hill College, you have or will have our Restaurant Operations class (unless of course, you €™re a pastry student). This is the class where the Management and Culinary students cross train in the student run restaurants in Front of the House and Back of the House. Practicing techniques taught by our instructors in classic French fine dining service.

At the close of class each night, our instructor Mr. Simonis summarizes a lot of what he saw and gives us a small closing speech of how we can improve based on the events of the night. During one of the nightly closing speeches, I will always remember one speech that really influenced my view of restaurants and even many aspects of life in general. The speech went a little like this after a slow night in ops:

€œ €¦In the restaurant there are days when we are very busy and there is lots to do €¦ there are also days we are very slow and we can stand around. As the years go by you see this cycle continue and it may seem to be very repetitive, and too many people become very boring. Because of this, there needs to be a reason to work. I have found that the people who do the best in this industry are the servers and managers who love people, who enjoy serving, who enjoy building relationships with their guests. It is someone who truly loves people that can do well in the front of the house industry… €

Now, I am paraphrasing what he said and with much less elegance then how he said it, but, nonetheless you understand. In Greg Hook €™s blog a couple weeks ago, he talked about having a passion for the restaurant industry and its service. In this industry, it €™s a must have.

As someone who has had the opportunity to work at Fork as an Expediter, I am able to watch and observe how the restaurant operates. I watch as the line cooks in the kitchen prepare the food with very specific intent, and as they finish, pass their product on to the Chef who then begins, with very acute attention to detail, plating the dish. I observe how the Chef examines the food, searching for any imperfection that might damage the quality and presentation of their food, aiming to put out a perfect dish every single time, almost four hundred times a night.

I watch the servers as they greet their guests with big smiles, genuinely happy about the arrival of the guest. I watch as the entire staff treat each guest as if they were the only ones in the room and treating their dinner service as if they were the most important; making sure every detail of their meal was perfect such as: placing a cocktail fork for oysters or a spoon for soup, clearing and wiping the table after each course. The servers take individualized efforts to Pair wine with guests and guiding them along service taking great lengths to ensure they enjoy their experience.

It all seems so simple and repetitive, especially on nights when we might serve ten guests in our restaurant or have a 30% occupancy rate in your hotel, but it takes so much more than being smart. It takes that special intrinsic passion for people and others happiness that gives you a reason to do it. It takes a love of what you are doing to find a reason to pay so much attention to the small details, to treat those ten guests to the best meal they’ve ever had. It takes that special love to create a hospitality Service Professional.

-Daniel Singer, Student Leader
Restaurant Management, Class of July 2017

It €™s Time for Freshmen Showcase!

By Tyler Fortna

So it €™s that time of year again when all the new freshman have the chance to showcase their talents in front of their family, friends, and prospective students. There is a lot of talk in the hallways and the kitchens about you guys being nervous and what Freshman Showcase may involve. First off, there is nothing to be nervous about…Freshman Showcase is all about you as a student showing your family members what you have been doing and learning about these first eight weeks here at Walnut Hill College and making them proud. All students are split up into different action stations around campus. An example of some stations would be bread, sushi, flambé, wine, and demo. If you are lucky enough to be chosen for the demo stations you will be down at the center for hospitality studies at the 4100 building to help the Chef Instructor prepare their signature dish in front of your family members and your peers €™ family members. During the night, you do get a break and get to walk around with the people who came to support you which would be your opportunity to show off how great our college is and get to walk around and see what all goes on throughout the night. So have no fear or anxiety about the evening, as all it is, is a celebration of your accomplishments thus far and a great night out for the people who care about you the most!

-Tyler Fortna, Student Leader
Pastry Arts, Class of July 2017

How to Make the Most of the End of the Term

By Cecelia Johnson-Chavis

Shake up your routine

At such a small college, it can feel like you €™ve seen what there is to see, but we €™ve got quite a lot going on here. Boredom can lead to stagnation, so it €™s sometimes best to shake up the routine! If you usually study in your room, try studying in the library. If you haven €™t partaken in a Student Life Event, see what they €™re about (and get some points while you €™re at it.) Attend a new club meeting or help out with a Community Ed event. They can all be great ways to meet new people and catch some things going on that you may have missed.

Be proactive

It may seem like the term is already behind us, but there is certainly still time to make a strong finish. If you haven €™t been the best with keeping up with your grades, attendance, points, or internship hours, now is the time to really look into it. If you know where you stand in week seven, there shouldn €™t be any surprises week ten. Communicate with your instructors to make sure that you are on the same page and up to date, because a last minute extra credit or missed assignment can make a difference in your final grade for better or for worse.

Ask for help

At WHC, we have a wealth of resources and a very close knit community, and often some relief to our struggles is only a conversation away. If you €™re having trouble and don €™t feel comfortable going directly to the chef or instructor, there are Student Success Advisors, Student Leaders, tutors, other faculty, and even other classmates. Whether you need help improving your performance in a class, finding a job, or even just finding your way around campus, the first step is asking.

Cecelia Johnson-Chavis, Student Leader

Culinary Arts, Class of March 2018