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Career school’s café is a secret culinary gem

By By Judy Grigoraci
For the Sunday Gazette-Mail

MALDEN, W.Va. — The Carver Career and Technical Education Center in Malden has a café. It’s staffed by students in director chef Tom Grant’s culinary arts program. The students prepare and serve the food.

But it’s not just practice. This is the real thing. Carver Café is open to the public every Wednesday for lunch. The hours are generally 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. (or sometimes noon, according to the crowd).

Lunches will be offered again in September when classes resume. There will be a short break in December, the busiest time for the culinary department, then lunches return in January. Grant keeps prices reasonable, averaging $6 per meal.

There hasn’t been any formal advertising. Knowledge of this different place to eat has been acquired through the grapevine.

According to Mandy Gum, Carver’s postsecondary culinary arts instructor, the café is part of the program curriculum, giving the students a smattering of exposure to the restaurant business.

The menu is ever changing and dependent upon whatever the students are working on in class. If they are doing soups, soup will be the choice. If chicken is the subject du jour, then expect chicken to fly onto your plate.

The café is the students’ favorite part of the program — except for one chore. As we all do, amid a few muffled groans, they jokingly admit a slight aversion to the prospect of cleanup.

Call Carver at 304-348-1965, ext. 118, for further information.

Reach Judy Grigoraci at

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