Café Dining Course Includes Restaurant Experience

A career in Culinary Arts or Hospitality Management could be your recipe for success in the New Year.

Back by popular demand, Norwalk Community College is offering a 3-credit Café Dining course that combines hands-on instruction in the college’s professional kitchen with work experience running an in-house “restaurant” for customers in the Culinary Arts Dining Room.

The 15-week course is offered only during the spring semester. It meets once a week from 9 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning January 23, 2020. The “restaurant” component of the course opens to the public about midway through the semester.

“The course mimics a real world atmosphere in an ala carte café/bistro style restaurant.  Emphasis is placed on student practical experience in all aspects of food service – ordering, production, menu planning and writing, pricing, point of purchase systems, quality control, marketing, customer service and team building skills,” said Justin Davis, an instructor in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs.

Each student in the class rotates throughout stations and tasks to master all aspects of a café business experience, including cooking and serving. This course focuses on modern luncheon menus cooked to order. Reservations are not required.

Last year, the restaurant menu included steamed salmon with boiled potatoes, New England clam chowder, fried chicken on a baguette, goat cheese and fresh tomato pizza, penne primavera, beef tips with mushrooms and pepper stir-fry, and mixed green salads with protein add-on choices. Beverage options included espresso, cappuccino, Pellegrino, and juices. Homemade desserts were the best sellers. Menu entrees ranged from $3-10.

“We cook all the time, but for Café Dining we are actually preparing for people who are paying. This experience is more like working in a real restaurant,” said student Susan Murphy.

To register, contact Justin Davis, Academic Associate in the Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts department at (203) 857-7158 or