Bistro Verde Cooks Up a Fresh Comeback


Jordan Minder/The Lamp A Culinary Arts student works the counter at Bistro-To-Go. Patrons can buy gourmet food to take with them.

Addison Keeley, Assistant Editor

With COVID-19 restricting the number of on-campus classes in 2020, there simply was not enough students to run Bistro Verde, a restaurant operated by Food Pro 4 students of the culinary program. The new on-campus guidelines allow Bistro Verde to return this Tuesday, giving staff and students the opportunity to indulge in fresh food while supporting the school, and give culinary students a chance to take a step further in their cooking careers.

Upon ending a one-year layoff, management behind Bistro Verde are hoping that the business can come back as strong as ever.

“I hope we do well (this year). Everyone is used to mitigations with COVID, and we handle food carefully to ensure greater safety”, expresses Sean Keeley, culinary instructor and supervisor of Bistro Verde.

Keeley recommends that customers call ahead or email their orders in advance, insisting “We are great about having food ready on time for pickup”.

As far as eating aspects go, Keeley mentions that Bistro Verde is strictly takeout, and that food is packaged to-go. Keeley adds that dining in Bistro Verde “may not be suggested this year due to COVID restrictions”, despite customers being allowed to during previous years. Keeley says that the menu will not change aside from the weekly special item, but states that the program can accommodate dietary needs.

There may be an “I” in “culinary”, but there certainly is not one in “teamwork”, which Kim Carter alludes to being the driving force behind Bistro Verde. Carter has been in the LLCC culinary and Bistro staff for almost a decade further evaluates her faith in Bistro Verde’s chemistry behind the scenes, stating “My expectations and prayers are that we (our current team) can grow our team skills, improve in our weaknesses, and showcase our strengths.”

Carter affirms that several details of Bistro Verde coincide to make it a rewarding experience in numerous ways.

“My favorite part of being a chef, besides “mothering” my students to successful careers in the food service industry, is the actual cooking of the food, seeing our guests enjoying our food and facilitating my personal recipes” says Carter. Proclaiming that love is “the greatest ingredient ever added to a dish”, she adds that she “prays our guests “feel the love” in our recipes this year”.

Students that are working for Bistro Verde are also eager to see what service this year can do for the future of the business at LLCC as well as their personal careers concurrently.

Student Lauren Schuster believes that the staff is going into the year without any general expectations, adding “This year we’re getting a little more consecutive time at each station which should help us gain confidence and execute more efficiently the longer we’re open”.

Despite her previous experience working in a restaurant she stated that it is the first time taking part in developing a menu.

“We all have the chance to create our own chef special, so the feedback from those dishes will be really crucial for us to understand to build successful menus in the future”, declares Schuster.

Bistro Verde can be found by the Workforce Careers Center on campus.