Incredible chefs often begin their careers standing on a stool next to their grannies & gramps or mom & dad. If you had the opportunity to watch your parents or grand parents make their famous recipes, consider yourself fortunate. In may other cases, becoming a chef starts with a 5- star top rated culinary school. Jefferson State's Culinary & Hospitality program is exactly that.
Accompanied by two friends, I recently made a visit to the campus bistro to check out this semesters lunch assignments to see if they made the grade.
Atmosphere: The Shelby campus bistro seats roughly 40 people and also has a slightly curved counter with bistro chairs. There is an open kitchen and also a brick oven on site. It definitely has the feel of a contemporary cafe. The tables are set with an upscale place setting.
The Meal(s): A variety basket of breads including triangular Parmesan crisps was delivered to curb our hunger. We each tried a different dish from the appetizer menu. I tried the Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls with a dipping sauce hinted with Asian flavors. These light & crispy spring rolls were incredible. One lunch mate had the Vegetable Soup. This scratch made soup was made up of cabbage, tomatoes, beans, peppers and topped with delicious cornbread crumbles. Our other lunch mate had the traditional Cesar salad: Romaine lettuce, house made croutons, shredded Parmesan with a creamy Caesar dressing.
Our entree's consisted of the Slow Cooked Jerk Pork: A succulent, hearty pork dish atop red beans and rice & cilantro slaw. This was a very good Caribbean dish. I finished every morsel.
My other lunch mates had the Pan Seared Scallops: Large, perfectly cooked scallops accompanied by fingerling potatoes, fried Brussels sprouts and creamed leeks.
The other entree' we tried was the Steak Tacos: Delicious, cuts of perfectly seasoned steak in a soft pita shell, topped with citrus slaw, jack cheese and avocado aioli with a heaping helping of french fried potatoes. Another amazing dish! Overall, everything was absolutely perfect.
Birmingham, Alabama 35242