Student Chefs in Rice's Serveries

#campuslife #residentialcolleges

Last semester, H&D piloted a student internship program by providing students employment opportunities and teaching them a life-long skill like cooking.  We have over 40 interns currently employed and we welcome students on all levels to work at least a 3 hour shift up to 15 hours a week. The chefs are flexible with their hours and have welcomed them in all our kitchens.  We will continue building this program and see the benefits of the support they bring to our team and for their own growth and development. 

- Beth L., Rice H&D Senior Director of Operations

Students lining up to serve themselves food at the food counter.
Inside of Seibel servery with students getting breakfast.

One of my favorite things to do in high school, especially while at home during the pandemic, was cook for my family and friends. When I got to Rice, I wanted to keep cooking as a central component of my life, and applied for the Rice Culinary Internship. I work 10-15 hours a week in North Servery, which primarily serves Martel, Jones, and Brown colleges, although any Rice student can eat at the servery of their choice (I’ve been to 4 of 5 and they're all amazing!). Most shifts, I work at the grill station with Chef Case in the mornings and Chef Joel in the afternoon, debating everything from the best player on the Rockets to spicy would-you-rathers. Every day, we prepare a special lunch and dinner item, which are some of the most coveted menu staples at Rice. Some of my favorites to make are the honey butter chicken biscuits, breakfast burgers with hash brown-waffle buns, shrimp po-boys, and smashed grilled cheeses. Our station also offers halal grilled chicken, teriyaki tofu, sweet potatoes, french fries, and burgers at every meal, which I especially appreciate (I am a reform Jew and follow a kosher-style diet) as I can get my protein in when the servery does not have any kosher items available. Working in the servery has allowed me to fulfill my desire to cook for others at Rice while fitting an on-campus job into my schedule. If you have a passion for cooking or simply enjoy working with great, fascinating people, the Rice Culinary internship is a great opportunity.

- Daniel R., Martel '26

A baking sheet with unbaked cinnamon rolls.
A female preparing food inside the servery kitchen.

Hi! We're Truman and Sawyer Archer, two of the students working at South Servery as part of H&D's new internship program. When we first received emails about the new program starting up last fall, we both knew immediately it was something we wanted to be a part of because of how much we enjoy meals here at Rice. Cooking (and eating) is one of our passions and the internship gave us a wonderful opportunity to learn more about it. The knowledge and skills the two of us have developed working in the servery are an important part of our experience at Rice these past couple of semesters because we've learned to make dishes from all over the world that we wouldn't have encountered otherwise.

Two male students wearing a chef coat and chef hat standing in front of food counter.
Two male students wearing a chef coat and chef hat with arms crossed in an outdoor hallway.

Our jobs as part of the internship vary from day-to-day depending on what the chefs have planned on the menu, but we typically get to chop and season vegetables, prepare fish or chicken for the oven, fry chicken for Monday's fried chicken sandwich night, or (most importantly) taste testing. Some days we also get to work on the grill as well. There are a lot of different jobs we get to do in the kitchen because the chefs want to make sure we get to learn a variety of tasks to get as much out of the program as we can.

Two male students wearing a chef coat and chef hat with arms crossed and backs against each other.
Two male students wearing a chef coat and chef hat with arms crossed in front of a pizza oven.

One of our favorite parts of the kitchen is the work environment. All of the H&D staff have been incredibly kind and welcoming, and there's an easy friendship between everyone that makes it a special place. Both of us are so grateful to have gotten to participate in this program before we graduate. We're going to miss it, but we know that after moving off campus, we'll be able to prepare some delicious meals!

- Truman and Sawyer A., Hanszen ‘23

Male wearing a cap, apron, and chef coat salting asparagus in a metal tray.
Someone holding a squeeze bottle of lemon juice, spraying over asparagus in a metal tray.

I work almost every day at the same time at Seibel. It has honestly been one of the friendliest and most welcoming work environments I have ever encountered. Working in a kitchen that is responsible for making as much food as Seibel has to make everyday really exposed me to so many different cooking nuances that I had never before encountered. Every day I make something new and I learn how to improve as a cook.

- Thomas M., Hanszen '26

Male wearing an apron and chef coat holding a metal tray of raw, sliced red bell peppers.
Male student wearing gloves cutting red bell peppers on a cutting board.

Working at South Servery has definitely been one of my favorite experiences at Rice! Every time I go into work, I can never expect what the Chefs have me working on. It could be cutting up 5 boxes of zucchini and squash, dicing 100 pounds of potatoes, or fileting a Turkey for Thanksgiving! In addition, everyone in the kitchen is incredibly friendly and always willing to help me learn new cooking skills that I would never have had the opportunity to learn anywhere else. 

- Andrew L., Hanszen ‘26


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