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Unique dining experiences highlight Spice Box season

Published January 30, 2014
elegant table setting

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois hospitality management students and guest chefs from around the country will be offering food and restaurant concepts often not experienced in central Illinois during the Spice Box’s 2014 season.

The 18 nights of unique dining experiences kick off on Friday, Feb. 7, with a nod to sports fans as student manager Kathleen Hudson puts together The Clubhouse – A Sports Bar–Inspired Menu. Guest chefs Sarah Herberger and Phil Stubstad from Wildfire Restaurants in the Chicago area will team up with Hudson for the Spice Box’s 2014 debut.

“Our students benefit from working side by side with successful and talented industry professionals in managing a restaurant,” said Jill Craft, instructor of the Spice Box course, Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) 443. “They also experience managing a team of fellow students who make up their staff.”   

A longstanding fixture on the U of I campus, the Spice Box, located on the second floor of Bevier Hall, is a working laboratory for students majoring in hospitality management in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

“The broad spectrum of menus and themes offers diners a new fine-dining experience with each meal,” Craft said. These themes include: It’s Amore: Italian-Inspired Cuisine, Into the North: Cuisine from the Northwoods, Backyard BBQ, Greek, and more, which can be enjoyed on Wednesday and Friday evenings throughout the semester.

A complete list of the dates of the meals, meal themes, and guest chefs is available on the Spice Box website at  Full menus will be posted there as they become available. Interested persons can also be placed on an e-mail list that will keep them informed about upcoming offerings by contacting  

Each dining event offers either a four-course meal, including salad, appetizer, featured entrée, and dessert, or a two-course salad and entree combination. A specialty alcoholic beverage and a regular wine list are also offered. Price varies according to menu, and the meals are available by reservation only. Reservations are available at 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7, and 7:30 p.m. 

To reserve seating for any of these fine dining experiences, call (217) 333-6520.