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NIC Culinary Arts Serves Up Summer Food, Experience

NIC food truck
A falafel ordered from the NIC Food Truck on June 22 at Yap-Keehn-Um Beach in Coeur d’Alene. / NIC courtesy photo

Emery’s and the Deli open after successful inaugural season for NIC Food Truck By Gerry McCray, North Idaho College

Opening a business can be a challenging task. The unforeseen obstacles and mishaps can often make for an up-and-down journey. Students of North Idaho College’s Culinary Arts program got a taste of those hardships this summer, but that only made their success sweeter.

The NIC Food Truck opened at Yap-Keehn-Um Beach June 21 with a revolving menu that gave students the ability to showcase their skills—both in the kitchen and in providing customer service.

NIC Culinary Arts Assistant Professor Hillary Faeta-Ginepra said her students learned how to start a business, choose a location, capitalize on the value of teamwork, learn from mistakes and more.

“There have been many successes and challenges along the way,” Faeta-Ginepra said. “Most importantly, the students really experienced firsthand many unforeseen obstacles of opening a new business.”

It was a good experience for students, said NIC Culinary Arts student Cate Ketner. “I am grateful that we were able to make the food truck happen this summer,” Ketner said. “I cannot wait to participate next year.”

Faeta-Ginepra said the NIC Food Truck is meant to show students alternative options to explore in the culinary arts industry.

“There are many alternative avenues opening and available within the culinary world that don't fit into the traditional models of a restaurant,” Faeta-Ginepra said. “Our ultimate goal is to expose and provide our students to as many of those arenas as possible.”

She went on to share that it was a great experience for her and her students and that she hopes to have it open again next summer.

“We truly appreciate all of the support we have received from our campus and the community at large,” Faeta-Ginepra said. “It has been a wonderful project that allowed for student growth and progression in skill and professionalism. I am so proud of the efforts and accomplishments of these students.”

NIC Culinary Arts also showcases student skills in the fall with the Deli and Emery’s restaurant located on the second floor of the Hedlund Building on NIC’s Coeur d’Alene campus. Both feature food and service provided by NIC Culinary Arts students.

The Deli is open 9am to 1pm most Wednesdays and Thursdays during the Fall Semester starting September 13. Emery’s is open for sit-down service 11am to 12:30pm most Wednesdays and Thursdays during the Fall Semester starting September 27.

For more info about NIC Culinary Arts dining services, visit

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