XENIA — One Bistro in Xenia is helping adults earn a diploma and learn needed skills to be successful in food service.
Through a partnership with the Miami Valley Career Technology Center and the state’s Aspire program, the “pay what you can” restaurant downtown is hosting an eight-week class where adult students learn to safely prepare and serve food, earn ServSafe certification and receive their high school equivalency, commonly known as the GED.
Taught by MVCTC instructor Gary O’Brien — who has decades of experience as a chef — the next class begins Monday, April 1 and covers everything an aspiring chef will need to know. There is also also a class at the Job Center in Dayton, but the class at One Bistro is more beneficial as students receive practical, hands-on experience.
O’Brien said anyone can learn to crack and egg, but learning to do it during a lunch or dinner rush is totally different.
“They’re doing the prep,” he said. “It’s great for the students. It’s great for One Bistro. It’s great for the service.”
Mondays are spent learning food safety, while Tuesdays are dedicated to food prep for One Bistro. Wednesdays and Thursdays, when One Bistro is open, the students cook food and perform other operational tasks.
“We execute,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien requires students to work at least four Saturdays and several Fridays as well.
“You have to be able to throw an egg Friday or Saturday,” he said.
A long friendship between O’Brien and One Bistro owner Robert Adamson led to the collaboration.
“I heard of his mission, I thought I could be a lot of help to him,” O’Brien said.
One Bistro officials were happy to offer the space, free of charge as all involved benefit.
“As a community cafe, One Bistro is always looking for opportunities to partner with groups, churches, organizations and businesses,” One Bistro board president Denise Davis said. “We are grateful for our partnership with MVCTC and through their Aspire program, we are blessed to be a part of the effort to provide the education, skills and confidence these students need to become contributing members of our community.”
Graduates of the class have found employment at Reynolds and Reynolds, the Dayton Marriott, Fairborn City Schools, and Heartland of Beavercreek, among others.
For more information or to register for the class, call 937-854-6490.