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Wednesday, March 22, 2023 — Houston, TX

H&D whips up a new culinary internship

Lily Remington / Thresher

By Nishanka Kuthuru     11/2/22 12:30am

Rice Housing and Dining has recently launched the Culinary Internship, a student internship program aimed at teaching students cooking and other skills while simultaneously expanding student employment opportunities on campus.

Beth Leaver, the Senior Operations Director, said she has been working with Chef Kyle Hardwick to launch and maintain this program. 

“We started the internship after the fall semester started.  Most universities employ students in their kitchens and we thought this would be a good opportunity for our students and chefs,” Leaver wrote in an email to the Thresher. 

Sawyer Archer, a Hanszen College senior, said he found out about the internship in September from an email from his college coordinator.

“I work three days a week with a 3 to 4 p.m. shift each day. Each shift we show up and ask one of the chefs what they need help with, so responsibilities vary a lot based on what they’ve already gotten done and what more they have planned for the day,” Sawyer Archer said.

Open to all students regardless of their cooking abilities, Leaver said this internship is aimed at teaching students basic techniques in food preparation, allowing students to expand their culinary skills. 

“The students are eager to learn, and some have developed their cooking repertoire like making cinnamon rolls from scratch, producing crepes during service at an action station and creating homemade cheese,” Leaver said.

 Working around six hours a week, Truman Archer, a Hanszen College senior, said he mostly works with pastries and other desserts at South Servery. 

“I help Chef David out with a bunch of different things, like making dough and batter, shaping the dough and putting together products so they look pretty,” Truman Archer said. Once I cracked 540 eggs in a row without stopping.”

Sawyer Archer said that another skill he and other culinary student interns have learned through this program is how to cook while accounting for the volume of students in the serveries. 

“I’ve done a lot of cooking back home so I’m no stranger to the kitchen, but it’s super interesting to see how they scale things up to feed so many students,” Sawyer Archer said.

Sawyer Archer said he has enjoyed his experience so far, and appreciates the opportunity to develop his culinary skills and work more closely with the Housing and Dining staff.

“Overall, I am insanely grateful for the opportunity,” Sawyer Archer said. “The dining staff work so hard and I enjoy everything they serve us, so I’m glad I can help them out a bit in return.”

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