Mott Culinary Students Team Up with Picasso

Will Stuart , Writer

The 2017-2018 academic year was a dark time for food on campus. Besides the endless amounts of Subway footlongs and pizza slices at the UPAV, there weren’t a lot of choices.

This changed when Picasso Restaurant Group took over university food and catering. UM-Flint now has a better variety of food options, including the Picasso @ UCEN, Cafe Blue and the White Building’s Blue Bistro. However, with all of these new locations comes a need for skilled workers.

To address this issue, Picasso and Mott Community College’s Culinary Arts Program are collaborating to bring students to work at UM-Flint.

“We called over there looking for extra help in the kitchen and the chef over there gave us one person to start, we ended up getting four or five students,” said Will Slocum, manager of UM-Flint’s Picasso locations. “They’re still here working in the back. A lot of them like it because they get a lot of catering experience.”

When asked why UM-Flint students weren’t contacted for the positions, Slocum made note of the fact that UM-Flint doesn’t have a culinary school. He mentions how expensive it would be to start one, pointing out that the university doesn’t have the basic facilities needed to start a culinary school. However, many UM-Flint students do work for Picasso in other positions. 

While UM-Flint can’t offer class credits to the Mott students, they are paid for their work. Their tasks vary depending on the day and what events are planned. Mostly, they prepare food needed for catered events on campus.

And in terms of expanding their collaboration, Slocum said that it is possible but they are unsure as the slower summer season is about to start.

“We’re trying to give them the freedom to do it their way and we kind of critique them a little bit. It’s a win-win really for all of us. They get that great experience and we can take kind of a load off.”