When we talk about meals at the Rawhide “ranch,” perhaps you picture a movie scene of folks sitting around a campfire serving up bowls of baked beans and little else. Well, our Rawhide cafe staff does rustle up some tasty baked beans now and then, but each day they lay out quite the diverse spread for lunch. And instead of sitting on logs surrounding a campfire, we sit at table and chairs in our very own Frontier Cafe. If you’ve ever been to one of our fish fries, you’ve been in our cafe. Our Rawhide cafe team primarily consists of Jeff, Lori, Theresa, and a few others. They all work at a fast-pace to make sure Rawhide employees, occasional students, and visitors are well-fed and satisfied.

A Well-Oiled Machine

Each member of the Frontier cafe staff fills a vital role. Typically, Jeff plans the entire menu and cooks the main course, while Theresa focuses on the salad bar, and Lori makes the desserts. They put a great deal of consideration into each lunch, making sure to include a variety of foods. Just as a restaurant prefers to offer patrons a varied and full menu, the café staff seeks to also offer a variety of options. In addition to meal planning—they clean up after us! They make sure the kitchen and dining areas are kept clean, including washing dishes and utensils after each meal—also just like a restaurant.

The Art of Crafting Meals on a Budget

Running a kitchen is not as easy as it might seem. A lot more goes into a meal than simply preparing the food beforehand and cleaning up afterward. Jeff plans Rawhide’s meals on a strict budget, so his challenge is to make each dollar stretch as far as he can, while also providing nutritious and tasty food. The extraordinary café staff has learned to get creative with food supplies on a budget. They turn ordinary food into a truly delicious dish. If you would like firsthand experience, please come for a tour that includes lunch and eat in our Frontier Cafe.

Teaching Opportunities

A few of the Rawhide guys have the opportunity to work in the café through the Work Experience Program. Jeff, Lori, and Theresa take the time to work with the guys and teach them skills they can use in future jobs and life off the Ranch. These skills include teamwork, work ethic, personal discipline, and following directions. The cafe staff welcomes the additional help, especially during Fish Fry season!

Fish Fry Madness

Fish Fry Dinner at Rawhide Cafe“It’s just nuts,” Jeff says about the kitchen during our seasonal Friday Fish Fries. During the week leading up to a fish fry, preparations begin on Monday and continue each day throughout the week. The cafe staff doesn’t have much down time. Even in the winter, during the fish fry “off-season,” Jeff already begins preparing for the next summer’s fish fries.

A Pleasant Atmosphere

Rawhide is truly blessed with such kind and talented cafe staff. We have them to thank for our delicious lunches and the spotless cafe, but they also make a point to come out in the dining room during lunchtime and chat with employees, guys, and visitors. Jeff, Lori, and Theresa are passionate about their work in and outside of the kitchen, and that becomes clear through their interaction with Frontier Cafe visitors. They not only feed us well, but they also welcome us into the café each day and make us feel right at home.