Merida, Yucatan – November 11, 2013 - A unique ‘temporary’ restaurant opened for business today, at the Glion hotel school building on the campus of Universidad del Valle de México (UVM), located on the road from Merida to Progreso, just outside the periferico. Glion Institute of Higher Education, as it is officially known, is a world famous, top-rated Swiss hospitality school, which operates schools in other countries in conjunction with local institutes; in Mexico, they partner with UVM.
A project by the 5th semester students, this semester’s concept is “Chaud Devant”, a French-Mexican fusion. What does “Chaud Devant” mean? In France, when a waiter needs to cross a crowded restaurant with hot plates, he calls “attention, chaud devant!” to alert his colleagues.
During their 4th semester, student teams of four to five people compete for the grand prize; namely to develop their concept into an actual restaurant, which they will run for one month. The winning students are responsible for everything, from developing the concept, to food preparation, service, and managing the restaurant.
The restaurant caters mainly to the campus, however is also open to the public from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm, from now until December 6.
The menu features breakfast items including a ham and cheese filled croissant ($25 pesos), traditional omelets with a choice of fillings ($30 pesos), and Mexican breakfast staples molletes ($25 pesos) and chilaquiles ($32 pesos).
Lunch offerings include appetizers of mushroom soup ($24 pesos) and chicken brochettes ($27 pesos), with mains encompassing French items such as the Chaud Devant salad ($26 pesos), ham and cheese quiche ($36 pesos), Mexican house nachos ($46 pesos) and fusion dishes such as the fusion roll, a crepe stuffed with lettuce, avocado, onion, refried beans and chicken ($32 pesos). If you are still hungry, desserts include crepes ($24 pesos), and fruit tart ($24 pesos). Soft drinks and coffee range in price from $10 – 14 pesos.
We regretted that we didn’t feel hungry enough to try everything, however were delighted with our selections of the fusion roll and the ham and cheese quiche, both of which were fresh and delicious, and the quiche quite reminiscent of what one might find in Europe. We’ll be making a return visit soon to sample some of the other offerings.
Menus are in English and Spanish, and the students serving you speak English, so if your Spanish is not good, don’t let a fear of being unable to communicate put you off going.
There’s an expat connection at the school as well, since Greg Fryer, the food and beverage leader, and teacher of many of the culinary classes, is Canadian, resident in Merida since 2004.
It’s well worth a visit to “Chaud Devant”, and easy to get there – just head north on the highway towards Progreso, take the Dzitya exit, make a u turn, and head back towards Merida. You will see UVM on the right. Enter through the gates, park, and then walk back to the Glion building, which is right next to the gate. Visit http://www.facebook.com/chauddevantmid for more information.