Students at SRT Secondary have certified chefs from Vancouver Community College teach them how to prepare more than 600 meals each week as part of the Samuels Bistro initiative. (VCC Culinary Arts/Special to The News)

Students at SRT Secondary have certified chefs from Vancouver Community College teach them how to prepare more than 600 meals each week as part of the Samuels Bistro initiative. (VCC Culinary Arts/Special to The News)

Hundreds flock to Maple Ridge school each week for 3-course meals

SRT Secondary sells upwards of 600 dishes each week through Samuels Bistro

One of the more popular restaurants in town technically isn’t even a restaurant, but rather a school. Samuel Robertson Technical (SRT) school to be exact.

SRT students in the Professional Cooking Level 1 program put their culinary skills to the test each week as part of the Samuels Bistro experience, where they serve more than 100 three-course meals to those who made reservations.

Chef Mike Steele, who has led the program for the past seven years, said that Samuels Bistro is a great outlet for the students to practice their training in a busy kitchen environment.

“The bistro allows the students to cook different dishes and use the skills they learn during the delivery of the eight courses that make up the nine-month program,” said Steele.

While Samuels Bistro has existed for 12 years now, albeit under a different name, Steele said that this year has brought unexpected popularity to the program.

“The bistro is becoming very popular and we sell out of reservations every night,” said Steele. “The community support has been overwhelming and amazing.”

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With more than 300 dishes being made every Wednesday and Thursday until spring break, students receive countless hours of real-world experience that Steele said really helps them in their future culinary careers.

“They learn many transferable skills and can be a certified Professional Cook 1 by the end of the program. Kick-starting their career in the foodservice industry and jump-starting their pathway to Red Seal certification.”

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Reservations for Samuels Bistro typically start booking five days ahead and can be made by emailing the person’s phone number, dinner date selection, entree selection, and number of three-course meals to samuelsbistro@gmail.com.

All meals are takeout only, with food being available for pickup between 5 and 6 p.m.

The next Samuels Bistro will be held on Jan. 25 and 26, with more information being available on the VCC Culinary Arts at SRT Facebook page.


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