The OSU Institute of Technology Culinary Arts Tech Room will reopen for service beginning Nov. 11 with precautions to ensure guests' safety.
The Tech Room will open to OSUIT students, employees and the general public every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon beginning Nov. 11 through Dec. 17, except for Thanksgiving break, Nov. 24 and 25. Service will be limited, and reservations are required. At this time, walk-ins are not accepted.
In addition to the dine-in option, the same menu will also be available to order through the new to-go curbside option for the first time.
"To ensure the safety of our guests, students and employees, we want to be sure to take the highest levels of precautions," said Celia Melson, Culinary Arts instructor. "For us, this involves limiting service options, offering to-go options, practicing social distancing and limiting the number of guests served daily."
Guests will be required to wear masks until they are seated at their socially distanced table or interacting with our team through curbside service. Guests are asked to arrive within five minutes of their reservation time.
"We have strategically scheduled guests to allow a limited number of persons in our lobby space at a given time," said Melson. "This also allows time for sanitization to occur throughout the guest experience. Our focus will continue to be on providing the highest level of service possible to our guests while our students gain realistic culinary experiences both in service and cooking."
The Tech Room is not only a place for patrons to enjoy a tasty meal; it also serves as a course for students in the Culinary Arts program. The new to-go option will offer another aspect of the industry for students.
"It's important to have our teaching experiences mirroring what is prevalent in the industry," said Melson. "Currently, both locally and nationally, restaurants have seen a large surge in to-go and take away options. This is one of the reasons we have selected this as a great option for our restaurant."
OSUIT is known for its hands-on learning, and for the Culinary Arts program, it's especially important.
"While simulations are one option to train our students, we still feel that the best way to learn how to operate a restaurant is through operating a restaurant," said Melson. "So, with the appropriate safety measures now in place and strict adherence to our sanitization procedures, we are prepared to reopen in a limited capacity."
The Tech Room has been called a hidden gem by many patrons. Tucked away inside the Culinary Arts building is a unique, modern, high-end restaurant featuring exciting specials unlike anything in the area.
A total of four classes work in unison to create a unique experience for guests. Students get to refine their soft skills, learn how to work as a team and communicate effectively as they navigate through a service.
"Our restaurants offer students incredible exposure to what the restaurant business is like,” said Melson. "Preparing food and honing cooking skills in our other culinary offerings help to train our students for experiences within our restaurants. The stakes and pressure for them to rise to the guests' requests and expectations in a time-sensitive manner with a paying audience is a unique opportunity for our students. Because this is an industry built around people, any additional practice with this only elevates our student experiences."
Chef Ron L'Heureux, Culinary Arts instructor, and his students are working on piecing together a new menu featuring seasonal ingredients and classic dishes with modern touches. Each meal will cost $10 and includes a choice of tea or water, soup or salad, an entree and dessert. Students will have the option to use their meal plan or declining balance.
The traditional buffet service remains closed until further notice.
Visit the Tech Room website at osuit.edu/techroom for reservations, curbside orders, updates and menu information.