ASU Students Open Kitchen Café

Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus has opened a public retail cafe in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, serving up economical and healthful menu items by students. 


Called the Kitchen Café, the nonprofit venue is an upper-division course staffed by nutrition students in the program's Management of Food Systems course and is required before students can apply for their capstone internships. The café is open four days a week for breakfast and lunch and located on the ground floor of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation Building I, 500 N. Third St., Phoenix.


The program allows for students to gain experience working in a kitchen and retail environment while they hand-prepare, cook and serve meals at a reasonable price under the supervision of Chef Kenneth Moody, instructional retail kitchen coordinator.


“It has always been my belief that to properly manage someone, they need to have a basic understanding of their job,” Moody said. “The Kitchen Café gives students the unique opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in a real production kitchen, so when they go on to senior positions they are better able to manage their employees.”


Meals are prepared in the state-of-the-art, energy-efficient and environmentally sound Nutritional Instructional Kitchens, which are attached to the café. The facilities are independent of the university's campus dining program, which is managed by Aramark. Menu items include salads, quiche, chicken, fish, soups, bread, wraps and fresh fruits.


The Nutrition Program educates approximately 300 students annually and offers four degrees: Human Nutrition, Dietetics, Food and Nutrition Management and Nutrition Communication. Career options in nutrition include becoming a registered dietitian, a food service director, a restaurant business entrepreneur or a food industry professional.


“The Kitchen Café provides students with opportunity to practically apply the principles they learn in the classroom related to operating a food-service organization and food-service management,” said Simin Levinson, instructor for Management of Foodservice Systems.


The Kitchen Cafe's days and hours of service are Tuesday through Friday, open for breakfast from 8:30 to 9:50 a.m. and for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cash and credit cards are accepted.  


Future plans call for start of an onsite garden that will supply Kitchen Café with fruits and vegetables.


Submitted by Marshal Terrill, information specialist director Arizona State University

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