Phillip Ogilvie and his 42 culinary arts students run the TriStar Cafe at Hoover High School, which is open to the public three days a week. Despite his inclination to jump in, Ogilvie allows students complete freedom in designing the menu.
School Hoover High School, 525 7th St. NE, North Canton
Established Originally called the Viking Inn.
Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Number of seats 42
Reservations Not necessary.
Online Go to tristarrestaurant.blogspot.com to see the "Food For Thought" recipe-sharing blog run by the students.
Culinary students 14 seniors, 16 juniors.
On the menu The best sellers are the salads.
New this year Chicken salad with bacon and apple.
Prices Most items between $3-5. Pay with cash or check, no credit cards.
Before Phillip Ogilvie became the culinary arts instructor at Hoover High School in 2008, he was a professional chef at Cleveland and Akron restaurants. He has found the transition from doing to teaching tougher than he expected.
"It's hard not to jump in. I love working with the kids, but I'm a fan of doing it myself," Ogilvie admitted. "I'm a hands on person — most of us who work in restaurants are — and having to sit on my hands is difficult."
Ogilvie and his 42 culinary arts students run the TriStar Cafe at the high school, which is open to the pulbic three days a week. Despite his inclination to jump in, Ogilvie allows students complete freedom in designing the menu.
"My seniors are in charge," he said. "They make the rules, make the menus, set the prices, do all the decision making. They make all the recipes up from scratch."
The menu changes three times a year.
"I find if I tell them to do something every time, it limits their creativity. So last year we did an upscale diner theme. They did a homemade chicken salad with bacon and apple that really went over well," Ogilvie said. "Now we're doing an Italian menu."
The new menu features a baked shrimp Alfredo and a stuffed tomato.
The students do catering and private parties, and are known for the sheet pizzas they do for school events. Associate principal Rob White said the cafe offers a connection to the community.
"The TriStar diner is a space where the community can come and hold various events. Also, Stark State (College) rents that space and teaches classes out of the diner and the kitchen," White said. "They serve pretty darn good food — I'm biased of course — and first and foremost, it's an important learning experience for our students."
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