Lucy’s: a creative culinary experience

Lucy’s, the UAA-owned restaurant located in Cuddy Hall, is a creative culinary experience for the students who cook there and the customers who visit.

Established in 1994, Lucy’s became a laboratory for students to bake, cook and serve in a professional setting, said Riza Brown, UAA alumna and dining room hospitality professor.

UAA culinary students present a bakery cart outside of Lucy’s Restaurant. Photos courtesy of Lucy's Restaurant at UAA.
UAA culinary students present a bakery cart outside of Lucy’s Restaurant. Photos courtesy of Lucy’s Restaurant at UAA.

Lucy’s is primarily run by alumni professors and students and serves as a culinary classroom rather than a paid job. Students start out with core theory classes, move up to actual cooking and skill development and finally enter a professional setting where they create their own menus.

The type of food served at the restaurant changes four times a year. The students work on two intensive sections each semester so they can master the same recipes and techniques before moving on.

“[The menu] is varying. We get to work with all kinds of ingredients. We’ve had ostrich and alligator,” Brown, who has been at Lucy’s for almost two years, said. “They are only limited by their imagination and creativity.”

Entrées currently include pork belly banh mi, lamb kabob and estouffée, a prawn and rice dish. A “PB&J” Japanese jiggly cake, meringue cake, black forest entremets and limoncello semifreddo make up the dessert menu.

UAA culinary students and faculty present baked desserts at an event.
UAA culinary students and faculty present baked desserts at an event.
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Lucy’s offers fine dining at lower prices than typical high-end restaurants, with entrées averaging around $15.

Hospitality and administration student Adam Comer has been working at Lucy’s for nearly two years. Comer plans on working in commercial real estate with a focus on hotels. He didn’t know how to cook before taking culinary classes as part of his degree.

“Cooking lets you create things pretty much from scratch and out of nothing. You can take a lot of liberty with how you cook. You have a lot of control and it’s open-ended. It lets you indulge in your creative desires,” Comer said.












Comer finds working at Lucy’s challenging, as he is expected to try new recipes frequently. Though the journey has been difficult at times, he appreciates the skills he has learned.

“You can provide for the rest of your life. It’s something that everybody should learn how to do, but [many people] don’t really get the chance,” Comer said. “The world of cooking is vast, which means you can’t learn everything. There’s always something new to learn.”

UAA student McCall Anger has visited Lucy’s a few times and enjoys the creative quality of the food.

“Overall, it had very good service and food and seemed like a great training ground for culinary students,” Anger said.

Along with serving those at UAA, Lucy’s also stays involved with the community by attending and volunteering at events such as the Stars of the Industry gala. This allows students to network and meet potential employers in the tourism and hospitality industry of Alaska.

Lucy’s is open for business from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Seating is by reservation and also offers take-out. Throughout most of the semester, Lucy’s sells pastries outside the restaurant Tuesday through Thursday 9-11 a.m.

For more information, call (907) 786-1487. To place a reservation, call (907) 786-1122.