May 29, 2024


bloom may look, taste and feel like a prestigious restaurant. However, concealed behind those swinging doors is a kitchen-classroom hybrid run by Conestoga students – think you can tell the difference?
While hospitality students move about frantically in the kitchen, a continuous wave of patrons flood the dining room which is located at Conestoga’s Waterloo campus. Students and tri-city residents alike visit the dining room for good food, and above all, a unique dining experience.
Since its re-opening in September, bloom has been filling its reservation book at a rapid pace. They have even been host to functions containing as many as 60 people.
Due to customer request, the addition of a “chef’s cam” has been implemented. The result is a live feed of the kitchen projected onto the wall of the dining room, offering visitors a behind the scenes view.
According to Matthew Worden, sommelier and maitre d’ at bloom, “I thought it would be interesting to create an open-kitchen concept without actually opening the kitchen.”
“The idea is to remind people that this is a live classroom. As far as the students, it keeps things true and honest, which is how it should be.”
Although the pace has drastically picked up since the beginning of the semester when students performed a mock-service for practice, students insist that the transition to real customers was a fairly easy one.
“We have some hiccups here and there, just like any restaurant, but we have it covered pretty well,” said culinary student Ryan Schmucker.
“We were given good practice at the beginning of the year,” said Rikki Cromarty. “Now it’s just like being at work.”
For more information on bloom, including online reservations and the current menu, visit

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