Affordable Fine Dining at Technique

If you think you could do with fewer college students in the area, you might want to reconsider. Technique, the in-house restaurant of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston, is almost entirely student-run. Opened in March, it boasts cuisine and service comparable to most fine dining restaurants around town, but at a fraction of the price.

Last Wednesday, Chowder visited the restaurant to attend a dinner in honor of Julia Child, who was also a Le Cordon Bleu alumna. Guests enjoyed a traditional four-course French meal, followed by an advanced screening of the film Julie & Julia at the AMC Loews Harvard Square.

But you don’t need to wait for a special event to nab a reservation at Technique. The restaurant serves dinner Monday through Friday from 5-8 p.m., as well as lunch on Tuesdays through Fridays from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and it offers a menu as varied as the students who run it (high schoolers alongside 40-year-old career changers). Technique serves as a training ground for students, who are required to spend three months in the kitchen, plus another three months as servers and hosts, in order to graduate. For patrons, this means excellent service and food, namely because there’s a degree on the line.

“There’s an extreme value-added aspect to it. No bad food comes out of this kitchen,” said chef and instructor Jeff Mushin.

The food speaks for itself. You would never know you’re being served by culinary masters-in-training, if it weren’t for the Cordon Bleu logos on the menus. The beef bourguignon, in alumna Julia Child’s tradition, was perfect in size and flavor, and the preceding watercress soup was just the right summer appetizer before a meat entrée.

If this is what it takes for students to make the grade, we’ll gladly take all the tests.

-Christina Cromeyer

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, 215 First St., Cambridge, 617-218-8000, 888-522-8550,