HTM venues in Marriott Hall offering meals, snacks, drinks

January 20, 2012

Chef Carl Behnke (center), assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management, serves Susan Walters, an HTM academic advisor, during a Boiler Bistro practice run before its opening in the Marriott Hall lobby. Pete Kohne (left), a cook who runs the grill, tends the pizza display. Students are part of the team operating the bistro and the new John Purdue Room.

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A new era in campus dining has opened as Marriott Hall and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management provide meal service in the John Purdue Room and at the new Boiler Bistro.

The new, updated John Purdue Room, with entry from the main lobby of Marriott Hall, is open for lunch. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. Dinner service for spring semester will commence Jan. 31 with hours of 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. For lunch or dinner, reservations are strongly encouraged at 49-46845.

"A lot of the equipment has changed, with more computer parts, just like anyone's car today in contrast to the 1980s," says Richard Ghiselli, head and professor of HTM. "We have more options for cooking temperatures, probes, choice of roasting or steam or convection. There are many safety features for food handling, storage temperatures and such -- and it leaves a record of it all.

"The dining room is updated, inviting and warm. Diners also can watch what is going on in the kitchen through windows or on a monitor."

The Boiler Bistro, in the main lobby, is open 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. It features sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, individual 7-inch pizzas, soups, sides, snacks and beverages. The current menu is at

"The Boiler Bistro is a change from the HTM Cafe in Stone Hall, moving from cafeteria to a quick-service approach," Ghiselli says. "It's no longer batch cooking. It's done to order; it's fresh. People are exposed to that at the Union, Panera, Moe's, Chipotle and other places. So our students are getting exposed to what the industry is doing."

Second-year students, in rotations, learn by working with professionals at the Boiler Bistro, John Purdue Room lunch and Lavazza coffee shop across the lobby. Advanced students manage the John Purdue Room dinners, working in both the front and back of the house. Most are HTM students, all of whom take both the 291 and 492 courses related to these venues. Some nutrition science students also enroll in the courses.

Lavazza, by arrangement with its parent company, will be open at many times outside the academic semesters. Its hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Lavazza has specialized drinks, sweet treats including gelato, and, HTM states, the "best coffee on campus."

The school began using Marriott Hall in fall semester but kept the meal services in Stone Hall through fall. Now the new building at University and State streets, which also contains a demonstration kitchen classroom seating about 120 people, is benefiting students fully.

"Some of the value comes with the modernization, using equipment they're going to find in industry," Ghiselli says. "Systems and processes is what we focus on, to learn to manage a restaurant, hotel or country club. We like for them to learn the food, but the key thing is systems and processes. If they can take that away, we consider it a success."