By Kady Fox, Steve Benton, & Lisa Atkinson

Working as a team is something that we practice at this Walnut Hill College on a daily basis. Although teamwork is not often talked about, every student contributes to the flow of service. Teamwork benefits us greatly while working together in the classrooms, but even greater in our production and operation classes. Together we all work through a system to accomplish an overall goal.

Teamwork at this college has a large role in all classroom settings. For pastry students, production in the morning requires the students to work together to produce all products for the Pastry Shop as well as desserts for dinner service later that evening. One specific example of teamwork shown by pastry students would be the production of bread. Individual students are required to communicate and interact between each step of mixing, shaping, proofing, and baking, to produce the final product.

Our culinary students are to fulfill three different types of production based classes. The first of these productions would be morning production. In this classroom, students are to prepare food for morning service in the Pastry Shop, and are required to fulfill guest €™s needs upon requests. The students are to communicate with one another in terms of replenishing and restocking in the Pastry Shop. Students are also required to help prep food for lunch production which follows shortly after. Lunch production has multiple job aspects in the kitchen. Students are not only producing foods for the public, but are also given the opportunity to turn out dishes for luncheons with potential future students.

Dinner service requires teamwork from both Front of the House, as well as the Back of the House. Our College has four different restaurants that are open to the public. The kitchens operate out of two kitchens in the back of the house, which means that the production of food can come out of either kitchen. Communication is ideal during dinner service, because both management and culinary students need to work together for the flow of the service to be successful. Culinary students are to prep, cook, and to also have knowledge of all menus being served. The culinary students are required to have one front of the house class to help guide and demonstrate the importance of service, and the relationship of management and culinary/pastry.

During dinner service, teamwork amongst management students takes on a huge roll. Each student is designated a spot throughout service, which relies on them individually to fulfill their tasks. Management relies on the culinary students to produce and turn out dishes in a timely manner upon request of front of the house. But for this to happen, communication is key. Allergies, dietary restrictions, special occasions, are all standard information that both front of the house, and back of the house should be aware of before dinner service begins. Also if there should be any mistakes, complaints, or incidents, both services should be aware of the situations and be ready to correct everything to make the guest satisfied to the best of our ability.

In our college, we have multiple departments that contribute to the daily success of production as well as service. Pastry and culinary combined help transition from morning to lunch production, while maintaining guest satisfaction during the process. From lunch to dinner service, management and culinary students focus on communication and teamwork to help run and function a restaurant displayed to the public. In a full day worth of classes, each student gains skills to help lead and guide one another. Which in an ending result, helps focus on teamwork and the success of the college as a whole.

-Kady Fox, Student Leader
Hotel Management, Class of July 2017

-Steve Benton, Student Leader
Restaurant Management, Class of July 2018

-Lisa Atkinson, Student Leader
Restaurant Management, Class of July 2018

Getting involved on campus makes the college experience

By Daniel Singer and Jasmine Harmon

It is very well known that getting involved in college activities will present you with many benefits. €œThe U.S. News Higher Education € site has a list of ways that getting involved in college activities will help students prosper and it also gives some broad ways that students can have fun getting involved; however, every College is different. Making the full college experience is more than just doing classwork and forming study groups, it is also about bettering yourself and constantly learning, especially here at Walnut Hill College. Along with doing great in your studies here at Walnut Hill College, you will notice that many students build friendships with fellow classmates and teachers by bonding over similar interests, and life and industry related goals. Students grow with their classmates learning new skills and abilities from their classes, that they can show out in the workforce. Walnut Hill College constantly provides ways for students to get involved on campus and to have fun while learning new things, from clubs to job fairs to Student Life and Learning activities and more.

Be sure to check out our Student Life page by clicking here!

The following are some accounts from Jasmine Harmon on ways she has gotten involved on campus:

Since coming to Walnut Hill College I have noticed how beneficial getting involved in campus functions can be. From making new friends with classmates, to networking with industry professionals, there is always a chance to further your understanding of the hospitality industry. The Student Life and Learning point system that is in place at Walnut Hill College is a great system that allows students to get away from some stress in their life and learn about topics that they are very interested in. There are over 22 different clubs and activities that students can attend throughout the week from Hospitality Engagement club and Wine club, to Disney club and Napkin Folding club €¦there is always something new to experience. During those clubs, students learn about something new that interests them and they get to share that new knowledge with friends and family.

In my second term at Walnut Hill College while attending the Student Life point ceremony, I encountered a few upperclassmen who went above and beyond their mandatory 5 point a term requirement by getting around 80 points for one term. Those upperclassmen said that they got those points by having a combination of a passion for what they do and sticking to their goal of always wanting to learn more. That was an eye-opening moment for me, because I saw how getting involved on campus could push you to keep your mind open to new possibilities, and it showed me that to progress in the hospitality industry sometimes you need a focused mind set on finishing what you started.

Another way that I have seen students get involved on campus would be helping Community Education classes held at the college for the public. Community education classes are a series of classes focusing on different cuisines and food styles for people interested in learning certain aspects of cooking and baking, taught by chefs from Walnut Hill College and sometimes Chefs from local well known restaurants. In those classes, you can be asked to be in the BOH assisting the chefs while they teach the class or you can even help serve the food that the students cooked in that class so they can have an enjoyable dining experience. People from all over Philadelphia and sometimes other areas come to the classes and it is learning experience for both them and our student helpers.

-Jasmine Harmon, Student Leader
Restaurant Management, Class of July 2018

The following are some accounts from Daniel Singer on ways he has gotten involved on campus:
Since I started at Walnut Hill College in 2014, one of the first things I noticed was how active the campus was in terms of clubs and student activities. Seeing this activity and having the weight of knowing I had to attend at least five events every term seemed like a big deal to someone who just started college and wasn’t sure how college worked. As I started attending these clubs such as cocktail and wine club with Professor McCartney, hospitality club with Professor Brooks or coffee and tea club with Ms. Copp, I realized how easy and how awesome it was to start getting involved on campus. Since the beginning of my first year I have been pushed into some awesome responsibilities by going to these clubs. Two examples being, I got to help start students getting involved with the Community education classes and the wine challenges with Professor McCartney, where we had to study two or three specific wines and present it to about twenty people. Getting involved with these activities, for me, opened doors in the College that otherwise I would not have had opened. Activities like those allow students to connect with teachers and get involved in the hospitality industry in very specific ways. Attending these events, while it is mandatory that we get a minimum of five points a term, is a way of creating a positive active €œvibe € on campus.
Coming from a Student Leader €™s standpoint and one of the hosts to some of these events that create reasons for people to come together, is one of the most important aspects to this business that we can have. Creating a network within the college between students whom one day will become each other’s either, competitor or greatest asset when building or working in a business is an awesome thing to be a part of. From a student €™s point of view, having these events that keep you engaged and give you reasons to get through college are some of the greatest push €™s that we could have to successfully get through college.

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

Bon Voyage: Traveling the Globe Without Leaving the City

By: Stephen App

Pop-ups, both in the form of restaurants and beer gardens, have become kind of a thing in Philadelphia in recent summers. But Walnut Hill College isn €™t waiting for bright sunshine and hotter temperatures to launch their own pop-up restaurant. Instead, their latest pop-up restaurant, Bon Voyage, is already open for business. And after having dinner there, I can assure you, you shouldn €™t wait for the summer to experience one of Philadelphia €™s most underrated dining spots.

Pop-up restaurants are nothing new to Walnut Hill College, as they tend to host one iteration per academic term. But the Bon Voyage concept is unique to this year €™s graduating students in the Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Restaurant Management, and Hotel Management bachelor programs, who pitched the concept of the restaurant based on the study abroad locations WHC students participate in.

Krissy Alfes and Connor Bodnar, 2 of the 17 graduating students who created Bon Voyage, say they hoped to capture the highlights of their student experience. Students may start their culinary journey in Philadelphia, they say, but during their time at Walnut Hill College, students in the Management associate programs travel to Florida and the Bahamas, while Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts associate students travel to France. Prior to graduating this summer, students in all bachelor degree programs will travel to England.

Bon Voyage Student Leaders

Alfes says she feels an immense sense of pride in the concept, as it allows students from every program the opportunity to share their stories and inspiration through food. €œWe all went to the same places, but we all had different experiences, € adds Bodnar.

In reality, it €™s that endearing concept, and the manner in which Bodnar, Alfes, and their peers execute it, that makes this pop-up restaurant worth visiting before it closes on April 15. Because while the food is fantastic, that alone isn €™t enough to separate Bon Voyage from the multitude of exquisite restaurants in this underrated culinary city.

Instead, where Bon Voyage excels is in the service, the conversation, and the way in which patrons are transported to sandy beaches and Parisian side streets with each course. That €™s especially refreshing at a time when dining out often dissolves into a group of individuals silently peeking at their phones under the table.

The students of Bon Voyage make it their mission throughout the dining experience to take diners on a vicarious journey without having to leave the table. There €™s the fried conch appetizer, for example, served with a mango salsa and avocado crema, that Bodnar selected from a humorous memory of his first day in the Bahamas, when he and a few friends were led by a local through winding streets that culminated in Bodnar eating fresh conch right out of the water.

Duck Confit Salad Bon Voyage

Or there €™s the duck confit, served on a bed of kale with a citrus vinaigrette dressing. Alfes chose the dish because of a particularly memorable day in Paris, when she and a friend found themselves caught in between a taxi riot and a Palestinian-Israeli conflict near the Arc De Triomphe. In an effort to distance themselves from the rapidly converging crowds, they stumbled across a small side street and a little cafe. Alfes says when they decided to sit down and order a late lunch, she decided she €œjust wanted a salad. €

Instead, Alfes says, €œwhen I got the salad presented in front of me, it’s just this mound of salad greens and wrapped right around the edge of the plate there was this beautiful cured duck breast and it had this delicious citrus vinaigrette that the greens were tossed in. I was sitting there with this little espresso right next to me and my friend and I are just sitting there going through my Nikon, just looking at all of these riot pictures, all of the things that we were looking at all day. €

Her voice trails off at this point in the story, and after a small pause, she breaks into a beaming smile. €œI want to go back, € she says. It €™s a story that Alfes likely gets to tell each night, but as she recalls that late afternoon impromptu lunch, it €™s easy to feel as though you are the first person she has shared an intimate memory with.

And it €™s not just the fried conch or duck confit that tells a story. Every item on the menu – including appetizers, entrees, and desserts – is inspired by a student €™s study abroad experience, while each cocktail  features a popular spirit or beer from the region that inspired it.

A Chef Prepares a Bon Voyage Dish

In the end, says Bodnar, the goal of Bon Voyage is to help patrons, €œunderstand the three years we spent at this school. It €™s not all about the classroom; it €™s about the experiences that we encountered. €

Adds Alfes, €œwe want you to have these dishes in front of you and see them from someone else €™s perspective. I want someone to look at the duck salad the same way I can instead of just thinking, €˜this is a good duck salad. €™ €

So while you wait for Philly €™s warmer weather and pop-up beer gardens, consider a vicarious journey to Paris, Florida, or the Bahamas. Bon Voyage is currently accepting reservations from 5:30-10:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, until April 15. Reservations can be made by phone at 215-222-4200 or on OpenTable. Learn more at