Every school year, Campus de Brome-Missisquoi, the region’s adult education and vocational centre, opens its dining area, l’Entre-Deux, to the public on Thursday and Friday afternoons to provide students in the school’s culinary and restaurant service program with practice to help them prepare to go out into the field. While reservations for the month of December are full, the restaurant will open again on Jan. 13 and diners are welcomed with open in arms to support student learning.
“It’s for practice. We have another department, Service de Restauration, which is another DEP. The students in front serve the customers and the students in the kitchen prepare the plates. At the end of the course, they go to work in restaurants so it’s important to practice,” explained Éric Bolant, culinary teacher and head of the culinary program on campus.
“There are many kinds of services during the year; we have the table d’hôte, breakfast, and lunch,” explained Bolant.
Bolant said students have been serving the public through the school’s very own dining area. For over a decade. “Before it was in Massey-Vanier, but they built a new kitchen with a new dining area. It’s been around 15 years that the program has been with this reception area.”
They decided to name the restaurant l’Entre-Deux to demonstrate the relationship between the service and cuisine, and between the school and the job .
With various menus making up the food industry, the practice is key to supporting students’ development. “At the end of the year, they can practice all the different services and menus we find in the food industry. Students can go to work in a buffet restaurant or a breakfast restaurant. In March, we have buffet time and we prepare everything in front with a long table, but in another month it’s menu a la carte and the customer chooses from the menu At the end, students finish the course with a stage and they can work in a hotel or any kind of restaurants. Many go to the Fairmont Hotel in Quebec.”
It also helps students figure out why they want to be cooking. Some students enter the program not sure they want to do cooking but at the end of the program, they have found their domain. “Some don’t know what to do, they don’t have many ideas, and cooking is accessible and becomes something they enjoy. It appeals to students who like action – it’s busy, and there is a lot of socializing. We are always busy in the kitchen and we get to eat well, students love that.”
Apart from serving the public through its dining hall, students in the culinary program also prepare food for Campus de Brome-Missisquoi’s store, Le Comptoire des Apprentis. “We have a store behind the kitchen where we sell mini recipes to the public and we have the butcher’s department as well on the campus. The store is open three days a week and people can buy what the students make. We have quiche, mini soups, duck confit. We use ingredients to serve the public in the dining room and to prepare products for the store too.”
Bolant said that over the years the public has been extremely supportive. “People know the students and they appreciate what students. Many people come for lunch and they love it. After finishing lunch, they can shop at the store. We made 500 meat tourtière last week with the students and within two days, we sold out. It’s incredible.”
To make reservations for the dining hall for January, call 450-263-7901 ext. 71405.
l’Entre-Deux is open Thursday and Friday afternoons and Le Comptoire des Apprentis is open Wednesday from 7:15 am to 3 pm and Thursday and Friday from 7:15 am to 4:30 pm.