Dining Out


A Culinary Residence and Restaurant in Auburn, Alabama

Students at Auburn University cooking at 1856
Written by Jennifer Kornegay

When classes began for 2022’s fall semester, students in Auburn University’s Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management got their first taste of the state-of-the-art education now being served at the new Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, a $110-million facility that’s changing the culinary school game not just in Alabama but also across the country. It’s blending comprehensive, hands-on training in almost every aspect of the culinary and hospitality fields and building a workforce pipeline for the South’s growing hospitality and tourism industries through 1856

A key ingredient is 1856, a 48-seat fine-dining restaurant staffed by students under the guidance of service professionals from Ithaka Hospitality Partners, the entity which manages the commercials aspects of this center. They’re at the host stand smiling and warmly greeting guests. They’re waiting on diners at their tables near the wall of windows, affording a view of stately Samford Hall across the street, or adjacent to the open kitchen, where other students are chopping, whisking, sautéing, and saucing, all with the guidance of each year’s chef-in-residence (CIR).

Current CIR Tyler Lyne praises the center’s avant-garde approach as well as the dedication of the first batch of students. “What makes the culinary science center so special and impressive is that it is something new and innovative,” he says. “And these students have a ‘head-down, ears-back’ work ethic. They are future industry trailblazers.” 

Freshmen and sophomores run the lunch service. At dinner, upperclassmen prepare and serve a nine-course tasting menu with wines paired by a master sommelier, Thomas Price, and pulled from the restaurant’s two-story, temperature-controlled wine room. The experience is invaluable for students with an eye on a career in food, but the surrounding community is eating up the benefits, too. Diners are relishing every drop of foraged mushroom and farro soup and each bite of the 72-hour-braised short ribs that practically melt over silky potato puree and delicate sweet onions. 

And 1856 puts equal emphasis on service, Tyler explains. “The book Unreasonable Hospitality notes, ‘Service is black and white, and hospitality is the color,’” he says. “You learn the right and wrong way to do something in service, but hospitality is how you make the guest feel. That positive feeling, the color, is what I hope guests of 1856 take with them when walking away.”

Can’t Miss at 1856

Lemongrass Margarita

This refreshing riff on the basic marg is built with lemongrass grown in the culinary center’s rooftop garden and Casamigos Blanco tequila infused with spicy ginger and orange liqueur, plus a hint of simple syrup, and served in a glass with a curried-sea-salt-crusted rim. 

Wild Game Pithivier

This hearty dish—a rustic yet refined pie of airy puff pastry encasing squab and pheasant—is Lyne’s favorite 1856 creation so far. He calls it a fancy, more complex beef Wellington. “It’s a timeless, old-school dish that still holds its own and is an example of cuisine that you don’t come across often, the perfect blend of flavor and technique,” he says. 

Brunch Smashburger

This big burger is the cure for a bottomless appetite and almost anything else that ails you. It features a sunny-side-up fried egg shining atop a hefty, cheddar-blanketed beef sausage-mix patty and crisp bacon on a tender brioche bun slathered in truffle dijonnaise. Take it over the top with the addition of foie gras. 

Yuzu Meringue Tart

A smooth curd of tangy, fragrant yuzu rests in a buttery tart shell with buttons of meltaway meringue, velvety white chocolate sauce, and sugared huckleberries.

Get the 1865 Bergamot Sour Recipe

Bergamot Sour cocktail from 1856 in Auburn, Alabama

about this restaurant

  • Chef

    Ford Fry

  • Address

    205 South College Street
    Auburn, Alabama

    • Fine Dining

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