The Renegade Rip

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Julianna Crisalli

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The sound of metal pots chiming together mixed with the scent of spices and sauces filled the kitchen of the student-run Renegade Room Restaurant on Tuesday afternoon.

For about 12 weeks during the school year, students under the supervision of Chef Pat Coyle create gourmet meals every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The Renegade Room is located in the Family and Consumer Education building.

Currently, 20 students prepare meals for the occasionally sold out room. During the first four weeks of the class, students learn about the equipment, work in the dining room and learn the basics of culinary arts. Once they are familiar with the essentials, the restaurant is open for business.

“This isn’t Home Ec 101,” Coyle said. “We’re not making one of something, we’re making great volumes.”

The students receive the recipes online of the meals that they will prepare. They study the recipe, then create it for the first time the night it is scheduled to be served. Coyle and other advanced students assist the first semester culinary students.

According to Coyle, this is a real restaurant. Students prepare complex meals, such as tequila-lime chicken and lemon ginger grilled halibut. No peanut butter and jelly sandwiches here.

Training with Coyle and his crew has paved the way for past students to find jobs and provides guidance for those unsure about their culinary profession.

“The culinary program) has given me guidance towards my career goal,” said third-semester student Michael Jones. “It is an excellent program.”

Mark Dunham, a chef for the DoubleTree Hotel, came to visit on Tuesday for the first time since he left last semester. He supplied his services to the students and enjoyed visiting his former teacher. Dunham said he will definitely visit again.

“I couldn’t have the job that I have right now without this program,” Dunham said. “It was because of Chef Coyle and the program that I was able to do it.”

The cost for dinner is $9.25 per person. Parking is accessible near Mount Vernon Avenue and Panorama Drive. Seats fill up fast, so reservations are recommended. For more information or to make reservations, call 395-4441.

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Fire up the grill