July 20, 2024

Eastern’s director of dining and event services, is moving on with a bigger dream in mind

Bill Hicks is originally from Great Falls, Montana, and went to college at Montana State in Bozeman. 

“I started in geology, then to family science. I dropped out and ended up moving to Seattle and started working in restaurants,” he said. Living in Seattle for three years, he hopped from restaurant to restaurant before moving to San Francisco for a year, still bouncing to and from restaurants to work as sous chefs and kitchen managers.

His next move was to West Jordan, Utah, then to USU Eastern in 2019 where he was hired as the chef in dining services. While working at Eastern, he earned his culinary degree two years ago. Then in July of 2022, Hicks was promoted to the position of director of dining and event services. When he took over, he decided to bring back fresh, flavorful food for the students to help step up the typical cafeteria food that had been offered in the past.

“Getting to know everyone and the students has been the fun part of this job,” Hicks said, “the most frustrating part would have to be the layout of the kitchen and cafeteria, where it doesn’t flow quite right.” 

In the future, Hicks hopes to see another building or unit to house a second cafeteria or eating establishments for students. This would be another place for them to get food and have more options when they become bored with always going to the cafeteria in the JLSC.

Hicks has also worked at a restaurant on Price Main Street called Farlaino’s, a local favorite that has been on main street for decades which is why he’s moving on to his bigger dream, owning his own restaurant. He’ll be taking over Farlaino’s on March 1.

He’s excited about owning an Italian restaurant because while living in San Francisco, he worked at a restaurant where he learned from an Italian owner making all kinds of homemade pasta.

“My all time favorite is pasta. I love making my homemade alfredo,” Hicks said. “I’m going to try it at Farlaino’s.” He plans to keep most of the menu items, but will remove dishes that don’t sell very well plus add some appetizers.

During the third week of March, Hicks plans to close Farlaino’s to “spice the place up a bit and make it more inviting.”

“It’s an old building but it has its charm, which is why I like it because there’s so much potential there.” Hicks said. After finding and hiring some cooks, Hicks will be planning on a grand reopening near the end of April if all goes well.

He’d like to thank all the support that’s come from campus and the community, as well as the dining and event staff for being amazing at what they do. 

“One of the best in Carbon county,” Hicks said.