Euclid City Schools, in partnership with Lakeshore Compact, offers a two-year culinary arts program to Euclid High School juniors and seniors that teaches them nutrition, safety, sanitation, equipment use, food preparation, baking fundamentals, customer service and other skills toward certification. The students run a full-service restaurant, Euclid Culinary Bistro, that is open to the public three days per week for lunch.
Colleague Susan Porter of LEAP and I decided to support our community by visiting the bistro, located in Shore Cultural Center at 291 E. 222nd Street, Euclid, Ohio. It is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the school year, but call to check the hours since they close for school breaks and holidays when class is not in session. The bistro also offers a buffet three times per year (opening day in October, before winter break, and closing day in May).
If you want to help students with their serving skills and culinary skills and are interested in an affordable, no-frills, hot meal, you might try stopping by just to do a good deed by supporting the program.
We had fried pickles, a thin strip steak with steamed yellow squash, and a club sandwich with house-made potato chips. Some of the food was cold; some of the order was wrong; some of the food needed to be sent back and re-cooked, but we looked at it as an opportunity to help students learn real-world restaurant skills. Chef Dan Esquivel, their teacher, stopped by our table and invited us to return, which was a nice, personal touch.
It is kind of like going to a dental, massotherapy or cosmetology school; you go to let the students “practice” on you since practice makes perfect. And, it’s pretty cool to be part of their learning experience.