Accolades reopens after year-long closure

Campus fine dining restaurant plans to resume service on Sept. 16

Accolades, the fine dining training program operated by TRU Culinary Arts is set to open its doors to diners for the first time in over a year on September 16.

Accolades offered TRU Culinary Arts students the opportunity to work in a fine dining atmosphere and was named one of the top 100 restaurants in Canada by Where to Eat in Canada.

“We had to close in order to rethink and restructure…It was becoming more about business than education,” said Culinary Arts instructor Ed Walker.

Accolades will now be open only two nights a week: two fewer than the last time it was open.

The kitchen at Accolades will be staffed by Culinary Arts students enrolled in the Professional Cook 2 program. Professional Cook 2 is the highest level of culinary training currently offered at TRU. Although Accolades is a major feature of the Professional Cook 2 curriculum, Ed Walker said that the program did not suffer a decline in enrollment in its absence.

“Our menu is predominantly local … I’d say 90 per cent of my ingre­dients come from local providers,” Walker said.

Accolades will feature a six course menu. Some menu items include chicken consommé, chorizo ravioli, lamb two ways, (confit and grilled), risotto and apple rosemary reduc­tion and crème brûlée with roasted rhubarb compote.

According to Walker, Accolades also partners with four Kamloops wineries and three Kamloops breweries. Service at Accolades will cost $39.95 per person, which Walker referred to as “the best deal in town.” This may be a fair assessment as similar multi-course meal events at the Brownstone, another fine dining establishment in Kamloops, range from $80 to $125.

Along with training up-and-com­ing chefs, Accolades will function as part of TRU’s Resort and Hotel Management diploma. According to Maeghan Summers, a graduate of the program who is returning as an instructor, the program will give students unique experience “executing a fine dining service.” The main differences between normal food service and fine dining are the “slower pace of service and the level of product knowledge,” Summers said. Students enrolled in HMGT 1110, Catering and Service Man­agement, will learn these skills by participating in four or five services at Accolades.

“Guests are extremely patient and forgiving because it is student-run allowing students time to learn,” Summers said.