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HomeNewsCampusStudents sharpen their culinary skills at Bistro '67

Students sharpen their culinary skills at Bistro ’67

When people think of food on campus they often consider things such as pizza, sandwiches and poutine. However, there is a place that students can get a higher-end experience.

Bistro ’67 is a focal point of Durham College’s culinary program at the Whitby Campus. The bistro offers guests a fancier dining experience and brings together community, local agriculture, and learning.

Executive chef Raul Sojo has been at Bistro ’67 for eight years. His role is to work with culinary students and teach them about the kitchen environment. This includes building teamwork, creating new dishes and culinary skills such as knife sharpening.

Sojo said “love, passions and hope” motivate him as an educator.

“If you’re going to teach the next generation of culinary students you need to be a very patient person, open-minded, and approach different situations not in the most compassionate way,” he said.

A wood and steel logo which says Bistro '67 is outside the restaurant in front of purple wall.
Bistro '67 is located on the second floor of the Centre for Food at Durham College's Whitby campus. Photo credit: William Mcalister

Culinary Management students do dinner service on weeknights and weekends. First-year student Paige Daniel was intrigued by the program.

“At first I was nervous and shy,” Daniel said. “I am someone who likes to bake at home because I’m in my own space. Coming into the culinary program I was very nervous about how hard is the chef going to push us, but once I found a routine, it just made things easier.”

She said Sojo is “very passionate of what he does.”

“He wants us all to be successful and as a leader, even though it seems like he is pushing us a lot he’s not because in the kitchen industry it’s going to be very cut-throat, and Chef Raul is preparing us for that,” she said.

The restaurant was closed temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is now open once again on Tuesday through Friday for lunch and for dinner on Wednesday to Saturday.

Sojo said the restaurant is now looking at new offerings.

“The restaurant was treated as an outlet for student-made products during regular classes,” Sojo said, adding the bistro is making offerings like chimichurri which it sells in the Pantry store in the Centre for Food.

The produce for Bistro ’67 largely comes from Durham College’s two urban farms. Sojo said there is also a live fish tank on campus that is used by the bistro. In future, he said livestock will also be raised at one of the college’s urban farms to be incorporated by the bistro.