Cooking Up A Global Education: The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College

Layla El Tannir, for GPA -- Culinary traditions unite the world. Each ingredient, method and dish has its own story and its own origin. The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College is a global education hub in the heart of Philadelphia that has come to define the unity found in the art of cooking.

The school offers four majors for prospective students to choose from: Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Restaurant Management and Hospitality Management. Their student experience is enriched globally through their curriculum, facilities and travel experiences. Currently, the student body of the restaurant school represents 17 states and foreign countries.

The restaurant school has a global edge through their Italian Trattoria, Pastry Shop and International Bistro. A Trattoria is an Italian restaurant serving simple food. In this case, it is a boutique, student-run restaurant featuring regional Italian pasta dishes. Chefs select an assortment of pastas that are served with an array of sauces which change daily. If customers have a sweet craving after their pasta course, there is a dessert menu that features a Chocolate Espresso Torte that screams Italy.

While the city sleeps, dough is on the rise at the Pastry Shop. Pastry Arts students bake everything one could dream of finding in a boulangerie or patisserie in Europe. Under the guidance of chef instructors, items are prepared daily, from fresh breads to croissants and cookies to cakes.

The International Bistro is a student-run dining room in a quaint European setting, offering a three course global menu. Below is a glimpse of their appetizer and entrée sections with the option of a beverage flight that can be added to the 3-course, 21 dollar prix fixe option:


Latin America
Tequila Lime Salad
Grilled Shrimp, romaine, red and yellow peppers, grape tomatoes, avocado, corn, black beans, red onion and queso fresco, topped with tortilla strips
Rueda, Casamaro, 2012, Spain

United Kingdom
Chilled Mint Pea Soup
Crème fraiche, fried mint leaf
Pinot Gris, Acrobat, 2011, Oregon

Smoked Duck Confit Flatbread
Balsamic reduction, black olives, dried fig, goat cheese and arugula
Pinot Noir, Macedon, 2010, Republic of Macedonia


Eggplant Caponata
Black pepper Pappardelle, sun-dried tomato pesto ricotta salad, fried capers and sorrel
Mon Bon Plaisir, Domaine du Chapitre, 2012, Rhone France

Middle Eastern
Indian Spiced Chicken
Scented rice, mache, roasted garlic naan, charred scallion, cucumber raita, spicy pickled vegetables
Rioja, Reserva, Anano, 2007, Spain

Sesame Crusted Rare Tuna
Grilled baby Bok Choy, edamame puree, pickled ginger bean sprouts, daikon radish
Rosato, Piegaia, 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Travelling is an integral part of the hospitality and culinary industry. The Restaurant School marks the end of each program with a tour of France, England, or Florida and the Bahamas to re-emphasize the cultural aspect of what students have learned in their programs and to build on their experiences in the industry. Typically, the gastronomic tour of France gives students the chance to explore the charm of French villages and indulge in some of the finest dining in Europe. Additionally, students have the opportunity to study with international professionals in the hospitality and culinary field over the duration of a week.

The style of education provided by The Restaurant School adds global value to the Philadelphia region and beyond. Alumni of the programs are working for or own restaurants that provide international cuisine or have an international edge. If you’re looking to network with global culinary professionals or put your taste buds to the test, here are some of the distinguished alumni who are based in Philadelphia:

Charlotte Calmels ’03, Restaurant Manager/Owner, BIBOU, French cuisine.
Tim Spinner ’04, Chef/Owner, La Calaca Feliz, a contemporary Mexican cantina.
Jonathan Chichon ’07, Chef de Cuisine, Lacroix, International cuisine.