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Oliver Smith Restaurant open for lunch at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School

  • These maple bacon cupcakes were among the most popular menu items last week at the Oliver Smith Restaurant run by students at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. The restaurant is open weekdays for lunch during the school year. Menus are posted on the school's website.<br/>photo by Barbara Solow

    These maple bacon cupcakes were among the most popular menu items last week at the Oliver Smith Restaurant run by students at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. The restaurant is open weekdays for lunch during the school year. Menus are posted on the school's website.
    photo by Barbara Solow Purchase photo reprints »

  • Kristina Derouin and Peter Morales, both seniors at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, have been working in the school's Oliver Smith Restaurant since they were freshman. The restaurant, which is open for lunch during the school year, is entirely student-run.<br/><br/>photo by Barbara Solow

    Kristina Derouin and Peter Morales, both seniors at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, have been working in the school's Oliver Smith Restaurant since they were freshman. The restaurant, which is open for lunch during the school year, is entirely student-run.

    photo by Barbara Solow Purchase photo reprints »

  • These maple bacon cupcakes were among the most popular menu items last week at the Oliver Smith Restaurant run by students at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. The restaurant is open weekdays for lunch during the school year. Menus are posted on the school's website.<br/>photo by Barbara Solow
  • Kristina Derouin and Peter Morales, both seniors at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, have been working in the school's Oliver Smith Restaurant since they were freshman. The restaurant, which is open for lunch during the school year, is entirely student-run.<br/><br/>photo by Barbara Solow

The restaurant, which has been operating at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School since 1977, is open weekdays during the school year from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

The establishment is run entirely by Smith Voke students, who prepare menus, cook and serve food and run the cash register. Chef Nelson Lacey, who teaches culinary arts at the vocational high school, said that on a typical school day more than half of the 50 to 60 students enrolled in the culinary program are involved in some aspect of the restaurant. The lamb, beef and pork used in menu items comes from Smith Voke’s farm.

Kristina Derouin, a Smith Voke senior who lives in Becket, said she’s been working there since she was a freshman.

“I like the bake shop the most,” Derouin said while operating the cash register one day last week, serving a small line of customers buying cupcakes to go.

The main thing she’s learned from her time at Oliver Smith is that “restaurant work is a lot of teamwork.” Derouin plans to study pastry making at Johnson & Wales University next year.

Sophomore Maureen Morgan was helping out at a table where her grandmother, Judy Jenkins of Cummington, was sitting with two friends she’d invited to lunch.

“It’s very good,” said Jenkins, who had ordered the $7.50 shrimp entree. “This is a very good experience for the students.”

“It would certainly recommend it,” added her friend Helen Curtin of Northampton. “And the service is great.”

Morgan, who lives in Hatfield, said she likes to work at the front of the house best. “My favorite is doing the cash register,” she said.

Daily menus are available on the vocational high school’s website, smith.tec.ma.us.

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