Students eat up the new cafeteria


Shane Louis

Culinary students Brianna Carbajal, Sadie Moe and Grace Foley make cupcakes in the new demonstration room.

Shane Louis, Copy Editor

Diablo Valley College’s new Hospitality Services and Food Court Building offers many new options for hungry students, and gives culinary students new opportunities to hone their skills.

With its brand new design and features, this new HSFC Building is a great place to hang out, grab a bite, and study.

Downstairs is the food court, which has an area to purchase food, and lots of seating.

For Joshua Levy, a  19-year-old physics major, this is a huge improvement from the old cafeteria. “This is much better. It’s more comfortable, aesthetically beautiful, and there’s a great selection of food.”

The selection of food is great, with something for everyone.

“The food is very diverse. You have the Asian food, the Italian food, the white people food,” said Stacy Wang, 18.

Upstairs, the DVC Culinary Department prepares a variety of dishes available to the student body from the express line, bakery shop and the Norseman, which is modeled after a high end restaurant.

Culinary students and faculty seem to be the most excited about the new building.  New work spaces and equipment fill the upstairs area.

“Everything works, everything was falling apart before,” culinary student Carol Phillips said.

Jimmy Smith, a 36-year-old culinary student, said these are some really privileged kids who get to use all this fancy new equipment.

“We’re not cramped together anymore,” Brianna Carbajal, a 21-year-old culinary student said.

Every Thursday, the bakery has a half-off special from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And culinary student Victor Ilog confirmed that they now accept credit and debit cards.

The culinary staff is looking to see how they can expand the program to make full use of the new facilities with such events as celebrity chefs in the demonstration room, or wine-maker dinners in the Norseman.

Chris Draa, Culinary Arts Department Chair and baking and pastry instructor, has been teaching full time at DVC for the past 15 years.  Transitioning into the new space, he said, is daunting because there’re always glitches to work through for the first couple of semesters.

Draa is still excited about the new facility, and especially the new equipment.

“I’ve got a few new ovens that are high tech, that I’ve never had before, so I’m extremely pleased with that,” he said.  “There’s a chocolate machine that I’m really happy about, that I never dreamed of having. And basically it’s just new tables and new equipment and that kind of thing that we’ve been really looking forward to.”

For the general student population, this new building provides easy access to both the food court downstairs, and the express line, bakery and Norseman restaurant upstairs.

“We’re hoping that so many more people will come to try our food,” Draa said.

In the past, it wasn’t easy for students to get food from the bakery.

“Construction would keep them away. Just the fact that the pastry shop was right next to the vending machines, people would never come.”

Draa put an emphasis on the educational aspects of the arts culinary program, distinguishing it from the food court downstairs.

“The type of things that they cook and serve are different than what we’re teaching up here, which can only be good for the student population. They can go  downstairs for one type of meal and upstairs for another type of meal.”

While the culinary arts department and the food court are two separate entities, Food Services manager George Delfabro said he has three culinary students who work the in the food court, so there is some overlap.

Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this story, the caption for the photo misidentified Grace Foley as one of the chefs that were making the cupcakes.