Eating out An innovative idea of a catering college has its students running their own restaurant, writes Akila Kannadasan

F ood cooked and served by college students – this is what Hot Cheese is all about. The new restaurant is a unit of the catering department of Sri Krishna College of Arts and Science.

Food for thought

“Hot Cheese was started in order to provide a learning platform for our students. They can earn while they learn; practise and perfect what is taught in the class,” says Santhosh, a faculty in the catering department. “The experience is invaluable, for students are equipped with all the necessary skills for running their own restaurant in the future,” he adds.

The menu, consisting of an interesting mix of mocktails, juices, shakes, pastas, salads, soups, sandwiches and desserts was the result of a brainstorming session between the staff and students, according to Santhosh.

“We experimented on over 200 recipes and finalised on approximately 100 dishes for the menu. No dish is priced over Rs. 100,” he says.

The Hot Cheese specialty is the combo meal that is served from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Priced at Rs. 99, the meal offers a choice of small servings of salads, sandwiches, rice, gravy, roti and a dessert .

The ‘creamy corn salad' with sweet corn, cucumber and carrots dressed with mayonnaise and ‘Fruit in cream', a sweet dish with bits of fruit in sweetened cream are my favourites.

There also is an interesting veg platter served in the evenings.

The young chefs have even tried out a fusion of Indian and continental cuisine.

East and west

“Our stuffed naan has a continental flavour to it. We have also conceived continental dishes with an Indian base,” says Santhosh. The restaurant also sells a variety of pastries, most of which are baked at around five in the morning by the students.

“The baking is done in our college; we have a baking unit attached,” explains Santhosh. “Students start work here in the evening after their classes. They take turns at the kitchen and the front area.”

Students Divya and Kanmani who attend to the pastry counter are all smiles about their new roles. “We were extremely jittery when we attended to a guest for the first time. But now, we've grasped the knack of it,” they say. “Patience is the key – some guests can be grouchy and demanding. But we have to bear it all with a smile.”

With friendly youngsters attending to them, the restaurant has several repeat guests, asking to be served by their favourite waiter. “Our second year students Sundar and Jitin seem to have won a lot of hearts,” smiles Santhosh. The essence of a good host is friendliness – and Hot Cheese has plenty of it..

Hot Cheese is located in VLB Hall Cross Cut Road. For details call 7708610777.

“Students start work here in the evening after their classes. They take turns at the kitchen and the front area”