To the Nines Student-Run Restaurant Serves Up Real-Life Experience
Writer / Matt Keating
Photography provided by To the Nines
To the Nines, an educational training facility located at 1999 U.S. South, Greenwood, is ready to offer you their delicious cuisine prepared and served by high school students.
Since the facility opened in The Central Nine Career Center on October 28, 2008, they have been helping kids get real-life experience and offering delicious meals to customers.
“Our current menu and hours of operation are available online (central9.k12.in.us/to-the-nines),” says Chef Heather DeRudder, a Culinary Arts Instructor at Central Nine. “Anyone that would like to make a reservation to dine may call 317-888-4401 ext 305.”
DeRudder stresses that satisfied customers and extensive publicity have helped them grow.
“We have been doing very well this school year, due in part to the diligent efforts of Alejandra Bannister, our Media Specialist,” DeRudder says. “She has worked to market and promote the restaurant, and we have seen a noticeable increase in business. Our Friday buffets are especially popular. We also have been using social media to promote our restaurant and our Culinary program.”
To the Nines has a four-course menu. Recent offerings included French baguettes with a vinegar and oil mixture, soups and salads, including French Onion Soup with provolone-toasted cheese or a Spring Mixed Salad and a choice of one entrée, such as sirloin steak or poached fish.
DeRudder thoroughly enjoys the food the kids prepare.
“It’s really hard for a chef to pick one favorite food, but I’m a huge fan of sushi and Korean cuisine,” DeRudder says.
Many of the student chefs go on to pursue a career in culinary programs.
“Our students have been very successful in their education and training here and also at the college level,” DeRudder says. “We have several former students that are current students or graduates of Ivy Tech’s Culinary program in Indianapolis and also former students that have attended and graduated from Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary program.”
Alejandra Bannister, Central Nine’s media specialist, noted that Central Nine is a Career and Technical Education Center (CTE), and said they celebrated the whole month of February because it was a CTE month®.
“We take pride in setting our students up for success with all of the soft skills, plus real-world experience that they can add to their resume before they graduate from high school,” Bannister says. “Whether the students want to get a job right out of school, or if they want to continue to get a college degree, we set them up with all the resources they will need to continue their professional careers.”
Culinary Arts is one of 26 programs Central Nine currently has. They are adding Early Childhood Education next year.
Central Nine specializes in the development of knowledge and skills to prepare students in a chosen career. It encompasses all of Johnson County, the southeast township of Morgan County and a main portion of the southern third of Marion County, including students transported to those districts from nine high schools.
DeRudder says Central Nine has an outstanding staff, including Culinary Arts Instructors Chef Tiffany Swopes and Chef Clint Smith, also a Culinary Arts Instructor, who operates a commissary for in-school dining called The Uncommon Café.
If you get a chance to eat at To the Nines, it’s worth it. The food is delicious (especially the biscuits and bacon), the wait staff is excellent and everything is fast. Do yourself a favor and make a reservation soon.
To the Nines is located at The Central Nine Career Center at1999 U.S. 31 South Greenwood. You can give them a call at 317-888-4401 extension 303.