Salt Lake Community College’s Culinary Arts School is the food provider for the Utah State Capitol building.
The program runs both the Capitol Café, which is currently 100 percent staffed by students, and is in charge of catering on the hill with the right of first refusal for any catering request.
Students who take part in the program at the capitol will do about 29 hours a week of on the job training.
“We give (students) a one of a kind opportunity,” says Meghan Krenicky, Operations manager at the Capitol Complex. “They will be ready to take on almost any hotel or restaurant.”
Students have the opportunity to come up with daily specials for the café, which has served Elk Bolognese sauce over pasta, Chicken Pad Thai and Korean tacos.
“The thing that I enjoy is watching these guys try something new,” says Chef Bruce Johnson.
While the café does about 75 percent of its business during the 45 day legislature session, Krenicky says that the café and catering are still in operation afterwards serving retirement parties, weddings and their monthly contracts.
The program is looking to expand its operations with the goal being to cover all program costs. Krenicky says that one idea is partnering with students to have a one stop wedding service, so that wedding parties can get their flowers and cakes from the same place.
“This is the closest that you will have to a real life situation,” says student Presten Thompson.