Food Truck Provides Students Real-world Experience and Patrons Delectable Dishes
Last week, CNM Culinary Arts students who are taking a Mobile Food Operations class and participating in a special internship began operating a food truck on CNM’s Main Campus, serving up delectable gourmet dishes prepared from scratch in CNM’s culinary kitchens.
The Culinary Arts department has partnered with the Street Food Institute to teach and train students how to operate a food truck, from developing entrepreneurial approaches and business plans to learning the culture and culinary techniques of the street food movement.
“A lot of our students have aspirations to open their own restaurants someday,” said Donna Diller, dean of CNM’s School of Business & Information Technology, which oversees the Culinary Arts program. “It takes a large investment to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The food truck industry can offer some of our students a more affordable way to get their own business going and get their foot in the door. This can provide them a way to develop a following of patrons while learning the food industry.”
The Street Food Institute, a non-profit organization run by the Simon Charitable Foundation, provided the program’s first food truck. The CNM-Street Food Institute partnership is focused on offering healthy, nourishing food at an affordable cost and the goal is to use as much locally produced food and ingredients as possible.
The Street Food Institute’s mission is to work “with underserved young adults in communities to help emerging culinarians realize their entrepreneurial dreams through business education and technical support, culminating in hands-on training at Street Food Hubs serving the public. These efforts aim to provide increased choices of nourishing and affordable food and a context for community economic revitalization.”
The CNM-Street Food Institute food truck will be serving food to the public every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the northwest corner of the Smith Brasher Hall parking lot on Main Campus throughout the Spring Term. CNM students and employees receive a 25 percent discount.
CNM hopes to add two more food trucks to its fleet in the coming year.