Northern Michigan University's student-run restaurant Chez Nous now offers dining in the kitchen.
Go behind the scenes at Chez Nous with the Chef's Table for a five-course dinner.
On Wednesday night, it was Scottish cuisine with roasted lamb as the main course. Eating in the kitchen is a unique dining experience that's become a hot, contemporary trend for many restaurants across the country. Supervising cooks discuss each course with you.
"I thought it was really good. Very well presented, the flavors are spot on. Overall it was a really great experience," said Nicholas Engel, guest.
It's all about seeing how the cooks are preparing meals behind the kitchen doors. Students say it keeps them on their toes.
"If somebody's watching you, you are less likely to make a mess. You are less likely to do something incorrectly. You are second guessing yourself ,and you are checking everything. You are making sure everything's as accurate as possible," said Victoria Penny, student chef.
This is the first year the Chef's Table is offered at Chez Nous. However, it's more than just letting guests see all the action. Having guests in the kitchen challenges the cooks to maintain professionalism, react to changes positively, and conduct themselves in a respectful manner, even when things don't go as planned.
Professor Chris Kibit says it's about how they dress, talk, and interact with the guests.
"The students have really stepped up. I think their quality levels have really gone up from years passed to this year. I think it's really put them on notice, and they have really done their homework well," said Chris Kibit, Professor in the Hospitality Department.
Those dining get to learn how everything is prepared. You will see how the kitchen staff collaborate and work together to create each plate.
"If they are out to eat somewhere and something's not going exactly right. If they see the kitchen franticly moving, trying to get things out, then they might learn to be a little more patient sometimes, if need be," Engel said.