UCC Mainstream Online

Campus Bistro now offering daily specials

River Rush Bistro, an affordable experience of class

Cody Perry, UCC’s new Culinary Arts chef instructor, would like to increase student leadership in the Bistro.
Don Gilman / Mainstream
Cody Perry, UCC’s new Culinary Arts chef instructor, would like to increase student leadership in the Bistro.

Many people enjoy a quality meal with excellent customer service, but those dinners are not always feasible within the college student’s budget. Recently, the UCC River Rush Bistro began dishing up not only higher-end food, but also exemplary customer service at an affordable price.

The Bistro, located in Campus Center next to the dining room, is just as affordable as the cafeteria where many students often purchase French fries or other quick foods. However, Bistro food is considerably more flavorful. For example, the $4.95 Bistro salad, which costs the same as the cafeteria salad, is custom made for each person with higher quality products and more varieties of dressings, not to mention the food service.

The Bistro, open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is a service both to hungry customers and to the students going into the culinary world who get extensive practice and hands-on training in the Bistro.   

Chef Instructor Cody Perry says that, on top of providing a service, the Bistro “helps students realize the reality of being a chef and teaches them that timing and prioritizing are keys to success in the restaurant business.”          

Perry teaches the culinary students not only how to cook professionally, but also the prep work needed for each day’s menu. Perry’s experience as a previous culinary student and as a chef at King Estate Winery helped him build a successful and strong working team with the UCC culinary students. While teaching the students to cook, Perry emphasizes the need to try what you’re serving and experience your own food.

The students all participate in a kitchen rotation and experience each different aspect of a functional restaurant, such as cooking, serving and cleaning. They deal with real restaurant issues and learn how to handle those situations.

Ericka Sieventhaler sets a table in the Bistro.
Don Gilman / Mainstream
Ericka Sieventhaler sets a table in the Bistro.

Perry has many goals for the Bistro’s future, such as getting it to the point where the students are taking control of the Bistro and providing more ideas and opinions on recipes and specials. He also hopes to bring in more of a crowd and to also start providing more high-end dishes so that the experience at the Bistro is unique.

Autumn Anderson, a Catering Assistant, says that the Bistro is “raising the bar of what people expect.” She also said that she hopes to see more groups come into the Bistro. In an effort to encourage that participation, the Bistro will soon display the work of UCC art students. This student artwork is also intended to act as conversation starters. This art will change routinely.

While the Bistro is most commonly used for a lunch break, it can also be used for a study session or get-together. Groups can come in and order an appetizer or a meal to enjoy while they are studying or working.

The Bistro now offers a different special each day it is open, and the Culinary Arts students will also offer three Capstone dinners this term. The dinners consist of a three-course meal plus an amuse-bouche, a small appetizer chosen by the chef. These dinners have been held in the Danny Lang Center in the past. The dates for this term’s capstone dinners have been chosen:

  • The California Dinner- Feb. 13
  • The Cajun Dinner- Feb. 27
  • The New England Dinner-March 13

The cost is $18 a person and tickets are limited. The Bistro accepts cash, check, Visa or MasterCard. For more information or to buy tickets, go to tickets.umpqua.edu or call 541-440-7700.