Listen above to learn more about Bilecki’s role at With Love, Restaurant.
Audio Transcript: Young.Bilecki.Assign8.Script
By Isis Young SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – “With Love, Restaurant” is a teaching restaurant and entrepreneur incubator for Onondaga County College students aspiring to run a restaurant. Joe Bilecki is the Executive Chef who works closely with the students through teaching kitchen etiquette and menu development.
Every six months, the restaurant places a new student in charge of management and the menu. With Bilecki being the Executive Chef, he is constantly adapting and changing to the newest cuisine the student represents.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the job for him is the menu development.
“So they’ll come in with recipes. I love it when I see a recipe book that’s like old and worn out. Those are grandma’s recipes, authentic. We try to keep the menu as authentic as possible so it can really represent the student,” said Bilecki.
A frequent challenge when dealing with different cuisines is the language barrier.
“I usually come up with code words for the kitchen so we don’t keep stumbling over these tough words. I’ll leave the incubator to make sure the dining area uses the correct language,” said Bilecki.
Besides helping the students chef it up, Bilecki also acts as a close friend and role model to some students.
“Some of our student body has come from a history of poverty, substance abuse, or incarceration, which requires me to get a little more involved in their lives than say a regular teacher, but their my kids. I want to see them do well,” said Bilecki.
The Executive Chef aims to teach his kids the right way to be, in and out of the kitchen.
For more information on “With Love, Restaurant,” and the current Palestine menu, click here.