Two Humber students got a delicious taste of their future Jan. 30, when they stepped into the role of head chef of The Humber Room, the North campus’ fine dining restaurant.
Alison Marley and Erlinda Manbija took part in the Chef’s Table program, which welcomes a different second year culinary student every Wednesday and Thursday of winter semester to run The Humber Room kitchen for lunch, said Shonah Chalmers, Humber Room head chef.
“These are apprentices who already know what they’re doing,” Chalmers said. “This is to let them take a leadership role and drive their team to the finish line of excellent service.”
Marley and Manbija came in with a three-course menu they created in a menu-planning course last semester and got to run the kitchen their way, said Chalmers.
“It’s a really fast-paced environment. You have to move,” Marley said. “We’re only week two, so we’re still getting a handle on this and we just got thrown into it, so your heart’s beating a little bit.
“All of a sudden you’re in charge and you’re responsible for what happens,” she continued. “It’s very difficult.”
Service was challenging, but everything turned out great and it was a relief to finish, said Manbija.
“That hour right before service, that’s when your stress level goes right through the roof.” Marley said. “Once you’re in service you’re constantly busy and it’s just fun.”
Chef Chalmers was in the kitchen to make sure both young women got through service, but tried not to get too involved, she said.
“I really try and let them do it,” said Chalmers. “I just kind of keep them on the path and keep them focused on timings, working together, pulling as a team and the chef really leading.”
It’s a great experience that prepares students for work in the industry, he added.
Maria Pelliccia, a Humber professor from the faculty of Hospitality, Recreation & Tourism, stopped by The Humber Room for a meal Thursday afternoon.
“I just had a fabulous lunch,” were some of her last words on her way out of the dining room. “It’s always good.”
The Humber Room is located on North campus. Reservations can be made online at http://www.thehumberroom.ca, or by phone 416-675-5012.