Hospitality program opens Marriott Café

Besides fine wine, not many things get better with age. That is, until the Hospitality Department was moved into the new Center for Academic Engagement.

Zach Dorsch photo: The Marriott Café is the new location of the previous Grotto dining room.Zach Dorsch photo: The Marriott Café is the new location of the previous Grotto dining room.

The brand new Marriott Café is up and running on the lower floor of the building. The Hospitality department moved their weekly meals from the Grotto dining room to this new location.

The meals are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:15 p.m. and cost $10, plus tax.

Seniors, like Brenna Kreydt, prepare these meals as a part of their senior practicum. Groups pick all three courses and must prepare the meal twice. Kreydt’s meal is themed “Days of Wine and Roses.” Her meal will include a pea and rose salad and a caprese chicken with a white wine tomato sauce.

For the fall term, the Marriott Café will only be serving dinners, but in the winter there will be two dinners and one lunch.

Hospitality majors learn to cook, convert recipes, run software within hospitality and learn to operate a hotel or restaurant. They can also study to become chefs and with the new kitchen further their learning.

Allyson Schrimper, manager of the Marriott Café said, “I like that our students are getting a state of the art kitchen to work in.”

Schrimper and her colleague, Chef Charles Magalhaes, also said there is a plan to add a bachelor program in culinary arts to the program next year.

As of now, Mercyhurst North East has a culinary program, but Main campus does not. With the new equipment the department is hoping for culinary growth and more opportunities for students to learn.

Magalhaes said, “Industry to educational is not that different – as a head chef, you are teaching all along.”

Since working at Mercyhurst, Magalhaes has experienced three facility changes.

“It’s like opening a brand new restaurant,” said Magalhaes. “Nothing has a home–there are a lot of challenges.”

He applauds a challenge and said, “The new equipment is great.”

He working in the kitchen at Mercyhurst is always a team effort. This is not his kitchen, it is the student’s, and he is excited to watch them grow.

Magalhaes said, “We have the ability to mature with top hospitality management programs in the country.”

Most people don’t know that the hospitality program at Mercyhurst is one of the oldest programs. The 41-year-old program now has the ability to keep up with the times. The Marriott Café is set up for instructional culinary management, but it can adapt to a full service restaurant.

Chef Magalhaes is thankful for the new space because his office is in direct connection with the Marriott Café. This means he can always tell what is going on and he is closer to help students.

“The transition has been a lot easier than I thought,” Magalhaes said.

Not only does the faculty like the new Café, Kreydt said, “I really like the new building – it’s easier being in an up-to-date kitchen.”

To make reservations at the Marriott café call 814-824-2565 with the name, phone number and amount of guests in your party. The list of meals being served can be found on the Mercyhurst University website.