Oak Café is back and never left

Joel Whited

It’s time to switch up your usual cafeteria schedule and head to the Oak Café, which recently opened for its third year inside the Culinary Arts Building on Feb. 8.

Brian Knirk, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Department Chair, said the program is unique among college culinary programs because it consistently produces and serves high quality foods.

“When the restaurant moved into it’s new building two years ago, the menu increased since the kitchen and the size of the class increased,” Knirk explained.

As the program has grown, Knirk says, the Oak Cafe’s concept has changed to mirror traditional restaurants with staggered serving times.

“While we are a student ‘laboratory,’ we don’t think of the restaurant in that way. The instructors have run successful restaurants in [the] industry and maintain high standards for the students,” Knirk said in an email interview with The Current.

The Oak Café has been a student-run business since the 1980s. It currently serves lunch Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 11:30 a.m. to 1:30p.m.

A student serving his last semester, Patrick Coggins, loves how unique the Oak Café is and the opportunities the program offers.

“This program is set aside from all other [similar] programs since it takes place at a community college, compared to an actual culinary arts school, and its accessible, economical and affordable.” Coggins said.

There are two classes in the program; one class of students works in the restaurant two days a week, while the other class of students works in the dining room. Each class also attends regular lectures.

The menu changes weekly and students rotate through different positions such as grill, saute, chef, pastry, and dishwasher.

The menu can be found at www.arc.losrios.edu/chef under Oak Café or in person.