By Ashley Schofield
“It’s all about love,” is the motto students live by when
running the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, casually known as the RKR.
This week’s theme, “Welcome to the Family,” is metaphorical of the
close-knit team who leads the restaurant this quarter.
Thirty-three students are enrolled in the series class, whose
beginning assignment was to start RKR last week for lunch.
One of the tests for students is to have a staff meal prepared
along with the necessary prep work before the shift starts, so they
can have “Family Meal.” The real learning is not from the teachers,
but from the experience of being a cohesive team.
“It’s a great atmosphere up here,” said Michael Obedoza, a
fourth-year hotel and restaurant management student. “The good
support eases the workload.”
The RKR abides in the Collins school, at the very top of Cal
Poly, an unknown area to many. When embarking up the hill, a
pristine feeling fills the atmosphere, which marks only the
beginning of the incredible work that goes on there. The enticing
views of the school and neighboring areas below are captured,
making it an appealing place to dine.
“Often times people walk in and say, ‘Where are the students?’
and we laugh and say, ‘We are the students.'” said Mauro Barron, a
fourth-year hotel and restaurant management student who underwent
the dinner series last quarter.
The vision started in 1990 with Dr. Bob Small to have a
restaurant serving an a la carte lunch and dinner where students
could get hands-on experience. The extreme professionalism of the
students allow for the RKR to function as a full-blown, top-notch
restaurant with excellent service and delectable food.
“This class is something you can never imagine going through in
school,” said Denene Davidovich, a fourth-year undergoing the
series. “The other day I helped develop a recipe for brownies and
French dip; it surprises you by how interactive it is with the real
The restaurant is divided in two sections: the front of the
house, responsible for customer service, reservations and the
appearance of the restaurant; and the back of the house, which
includes the cooking, food prep and kitchen duties.
Students rotate through different restaurant positions
throughout the quarter, with one week of management. The management
week is the big test because it is the most intense period of the
course where students rise to the occasion and become leaders.
Students are thrown right into the business, with an abundance
of information they can only hope to remember in the line of
“We let them get burned, but not third degree burns,” said
Barbara Jean Bruin, the lunch manager, and hotel and restaurant
“It’s definitely a challenge because the professors place you in
your weak spot, but it’s surprising how it’s second nature to step
up and you realize students second guess themselves and know more
than they do,” said Ivee Yu, fourth-year production manager for
The class sets the menu and the managers are required to put
together a weekly special which includes appetizers, entrees and
desserts paired with wines and inventive beverages. This part of
the course is where students get to use their imagination to create
endless food combinations.
“My week was around Thanksgiving, so our theme was Thanksgiving
Delight,” said Lacey Murillo, a fourth-year hotel and restaurant
management student who collaborated last quarter in the creativity
the restaurant has to offer.
“Cuisine is international, thank God we only have knowledge of
this planet. Could you imagine the possibility of Martian food?”
This week’s special is “It’s brunch to me” featuring a granola
parfait, crab cake benedict, and fresh fruit salad served with a
mimosa for $12.95.
Conveniently located on campus, students are encouraged to make
reservations either online at www.rkr.csupomona.edu or by calling
(909) 869-4700. The RKR is a restaurant that truly fosters the Cal
Poly way of learning by doing in a fun, friendly manner.
Open for lunch from 11:30-1 p.m. and for dinner from 6-8 p.m.,
the students work hard all day long.
Bruin sums up the inviting atmosphere of the restaurant
“Lunch is like the daily grill, dinner is the real creme de la
creme, and as for me I’m just all about rock ‘n roll.”
Ashley Schofield can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com
or by phone at (909) 869-3744.
Kellogg Restaurant Reopening
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