PUHI — As Kaua‘i Community College students file out of their classes at 10:30 a.m., they are greeted near the student center by the wafting aroma of lunch being prepared in the campus dining facility.
Menu items created by students in the college’s culinary-arts program are available in the dining facility. The day there begins with the serving of light breakfast and baked goods and the usual morning beverages, until lunch happens from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
A variety of hot menu items and daily specials fill the steam tables for patrons to select from at prices that are geared for students’ budgets.
In addition to the hot dishes, diners are able to choose from some ready-to-go items including a variety of sandwiches and “finger foods.”
On the other side of the dining room KCC instructor Billy Gibson had spent the morning preening 13 advanced culinary-arts students in the presentation and preparation of the fine-dining experience. Some 60 students are enrolled in the class this year.
Student exercises involve the folding of linen napkins, setting tables with the right silverware and plates, and paperwork involved. All the work is aimed at preparing the fine-dining room for patrons who want to experience lunch in an elegant setting.
Other students in the culinary class worked in the kitchen under the tutelage of Chef Mark Oyama in preparing the dishes for the Tuesday and Thursday servings, the fine-dining program coinciding with the class meeting dates of the advanced class.
Gibson said the fine-dining program has been very successful. Last school year the phone never stopped ringing from people wanting to secure a reservation for special dates like a festive Chinese New Year meal served in February, he said.
Diners from off-campus and on-campus are encouraged to make reservations in advance for seats at the KCC fine-dining room.
Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling 245-8365.