College of DuPage Students Cook For Residents

14 months ago the College of DuPage broke ground on a brand new culinary and hospitality building that includes a fully functional restaurant. Chris Thielman, coordinator of the Culinary and Hospitality program at College of Dupage, says no expense was spared in the planning process for the new building.

“One of the things the students will find is that they are able to be trained in a real life world facility and world class facilities,” said Thielman.

Culinary students at College of DuPage believe the real life experience they get, thanks to the new facility, puts them a step ahead of others after college.

“This kitchen especially is very restaurant style,” said Samantha Fruzyna, student at College of DuPage. “If you go from here into the skills kitchen it’s a huge difference. It’s very close quarters and very real life.”

The night started with a reception complete with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. The dishes prepared by the students were inspired from the French chef Escoffier.

“The students had to create the exact recipes themselves. Because they didn’t have enough information to create the recipes, they had to do some research,” said Thielman.

Guests at the Waterleaf Restaurant enjoyed a six-course meal complete with a filet mignon entre. Other dishes included a duck consommé, a salad with frisee lettuce, and a sole filet wrapped around a fish mousseline. 44 local residents attended the dinner and paid $55 a plate, which they say was a bargain for the quality of the meal and service they received.

“The food was great, but what I think I liked most about it is that the servers and the people that took care of you made you feel welcome,” said Glen Ellyn resident Joyce Carey. “They were excited and they made me excited and they made the food taste even better.’

This is the capstone course for many of the students and chef David Kramer, culinary professor at College of DuPage, has seen the student’s ability grow from the start.

“You’ve seen their skills evolve and their maturity level evolve. Their talent, their ability to taste, they have much more confidence then they did when they first started,” said Kramer.

When students aren’t in the kitchen the Waterleaf Restaurant is open to the public seven days a week. For more information visit


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