NMU’s Chez Nous hosts themed dinners throughout November


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — Throughout the month of November, Northern Michigan University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program is hosting a series of themed dinners at student-run restaurant Chez Nous Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Chez Nous, located within the Jacobetti Complex of NMU, is a high-end restaurant operated by second-year hospitality management students under the supervision of the school’s Hospital and Tourism Management faculty. The restaurant provides students hands on training for menu design, food preparation, management and service.

During select months of the fall and winter semesters, Chez Nous is open to students, staff, faculty and the community.

According to Tamara Hunter, one of the hospitality program’s teaching assistants, Chez Nous gives students an opportunity to learn how to run their own their restaurant. Students are responsible for developing menus and analyzing financial aspects of the menu as well.

Hunter said every themed dinner is managed by different groups of two to four students. Students are also responsible for coordinating the restaurant’s decor, center pieces and music.

“They basically manage the entire restaurant,” Hunter said. “They manage everyone cooking in the kitchen and the servers, too. It lets them take lessons learned in class and apply it hands on.”

Hunter also said students receive a lot of great feedback from the community.

“People from all over Marquette, Ishpeming and Negaunee come show their support — they give students great feedback that’ll help when they decide to take (hospitality management) on as a career.”

There’s a table in the back of the kitchen that overlooks stations students are working at. Silverware, glasses and menus are set up waiting for a group of people. Some of the people that will sit at the “Chefs table,” as it’s called, are chefs like the Digneit brothers, who own DIGS Gastropub on Washington Street in Marquette.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to present themselves in the kitchen professionally and respectfully in front of people from the community who are watching them,” Hunter said. “It makes them nervous sometimes — but it’s good for them.”

The first student-prepared dinners were held on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday’s theme “Fall into Autumn” was a fall-inspired menu that included a bacon and dried cranberry stuffed pork tenderloin, apple cider glazed chicken and pumpkin cobbler.

For Thursday’s theme, “Nostalgic Culinary Trip Down I-71,” students prepared a romaine salad with warm bacon dressing and Michigan cherries, a choice of smoked brisket and Georgia peach bourbon glaze or southern fried catfish and key lime pie with whipped cream.

Dinners throughout the rest of November include:

Nov. 8: “1920’s theme” will feature chicken a la rose, lemon garlic steak and a special dessert.

Nov. 9: “Fiesta Like There’s No Manana” will feature authentic Mexican dishes include fish ceviche, street corn soup, carrot mole salad, fried avocado tacos, lamb birria and classic flan.

Nov. 15: “The Dragon’s Delight” will include far east dishes including spiced-anko Japanese dumplings and a choice of teriyaki-glazed salmon or a sesame chicken vegetable stir-fry. The dinner will conclude with a matcha cotton cheesecake with house made whipped cream and candied pistachios.

Nov. 16: “Explore the Globe” authentic flavors from Finland, Germany, Canada and Egypt will be featured.

Nov. 27: “Taste of Turkey” includes lentil soup and a sweet custard.

Nov. 28: “An Alaskan Adventure” will include a variety of Alaskan cuisine including small game, king crab and baked Alaska.

The dinners are offered at a price of $22 plus tax. Chez Nous accepts cash, checks, credit and debit cards.

Seating for all dinners is available at 4:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required. To make a reservation call 906-227-1981.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.