By Jamil Oakford/managing editor

Subway isn’t the only option for lunch Mondays on SE Campus.

Thanks to the campus’ culinary arts program, SE students, faculty and staff can eat student-made, student-prepared lunches for $5.

“They get a lot of food,” SE culinary arts instructor Katrina Warner said. “They get two starters, an entree with two side dishes. They also get a dessert and a beverage.”

The program’s Quantity Procedures class is working to ensure every entree has a vegetarian option, along with trying to offer gluten-free dishes, she said.

The class is meant for students to get insight into what working in a restaurant kitchen will be like, she said.

Brandon Clay, SE culinary arts student assistant, said this class taught him a lot of important lessons.

“It teaches you how to conserve your money and not waste, which is so important in the industry,” he said.

SE students Alma Jauregui and Gifts Kwarteng prepare lunches to go. The meal comes with two starters, an entree, two sides, a roll, dessert and beverage. People can dine in or eat out.
SE students Alma Jauregui and Gifts Kwarteng prepare lunches to go. The meal comes with two starters, an entree, two sides, a roll, dessert and beverage. People can dine in or eat out. Photos by Robert Burn/The Collegian

For the first four weeks, Warner prepares the menus. After that, students must prepare meals each week on their own.

“They have to pick a theme, what their menu will be,” she said.

On top of creating the menu and picking the theme, students have to think of the dish’s cost-effectiveness and design a flyer to advertise it.

“I love that Chef Warner allowed us creativity,” SE culinary arts student Harriet Small said. “I love the fact that we could come up with different food ideas that are healthy and fulfilling for the price.”

Small, who took the class last semester, enjoyed making a menu that could please on multiple levels, she said.

“For me, when I prepare a meal, I make sure that it looks appealing and tastes marvelous and keeps you coming back for more,” she said.

Clay said he looked forward to his group’s week for preparing the Monday menu.

“You have the excitement of trying to, like, beat the numbers of the previous week’s menu,” he said. “It’s competitive, but it’s also a lot of teamwork to make sure everything goes well.”

SE culinary arts student Samantha Reeves serves student Chris Bottle during the Monday meal. These lunches are served once a week.
SE culinary arts student Samantha Reeves serves student Chris Bottle during the Monday meal. These lunches are served once a week. Photo by Robert Burn/The Collegian

Small said this class offered her a great chance to learn.

Part of that learning comes with the comment cards diners are asked to fill out after their meal. The cards are also created by the group in charge of the meal that week, Warner said. With these comment cards, students can receive feedback and improve, Warner said.

“That’s my favorite part,” she said about the portion of class where students read over the comments. “Classmates will tell you it was good, but the public is different. They’re honest.”

Clay said the $5 lunches are a great way to help support other students on campus as well as eat good food.

“For the same price you’d be paying for a Subway meal, you can eat a gourmet meal, get the vitamins you need and the nutrients you need,” Clay said. “If you don’t like that, something’s wrong with you.”