As part of consolidating SLCC culinary training to the Miller Campus location, culinary director Jason Talcott outlined a redesigned curriculum that will produce a signature representation of Bruin culinary service.
“We’re shifting away from running a business so full of unknowns and uncontrollables to a service-based education adaptable to the learning outcomes of our students,” says Talcott.
After a small amount of kitchen modification, the Miller Campus’ state-of-the-art culinary space is up and running as of fall 2013.
Many culinary institutions offer versions of live restaurant training that include Utah State University’s Forte Restaurant and The Bocuse Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America in New York.
“We hope to provide a hands-on, farm-to-table idea of food and to expand our horizons into a zero-use kitchen to reduce environmental impact,” Talcott says.
The curriculum revamp will emphasize community service orientation, and support Slow Food Utah and local community. Talcott suggested that better food means better community.
“Our redeveloped curriculum incorporates service and sustainability into everything we do,” says Talcott.
This fall, community involvement for Bruin culinary students begins with a table featured at a Celebrate the Bounty gala sponsored by Local First Utah where fine foods from across the state will be presented.
Localfirst.org promises this as a party of the year event, to be held Oct. 10 at the Union Pacific Depot, 400 W South Temple from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bruins will assist with event set-ups and have the opportunity to network with established chefs.
Bruin culinary students will donate gingerbread houses for auction on Nov. 17 at the Trees of Diversity community fundraising exhibit.
As part of their training, Bruins also compete for a national culinary title in an American Culinary Federation Student Team contest by preparing classical dishes for a party of 24.
Talcott teaches a Saturday class from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. that will prepare a five-person Bruin team.
Talcott described a Bruin Culinary Institution that will provide customizable education comparable to places like the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University.
Johnson and Wales tuition is $502 per credit and may require travel. Bruins currently pay $127 per credit.
“As a non-profit, our Bruin restaurant will be a dynamic creature offering super-great value and unique dining experience,” Talcott said.
The Bruin Culinary Institute will provide development and education for experienced chefs, for people exploring second careers and for culinary students inspired to create establishments of their own.
Culinary proficiency at Miller Campus will include hybrid classrooms and an eye in every demo kitchen through live video feeds and pre-packaged webcasts.
A capstone student-run Bruin restaurant will begin to grow a hands-on, farm-to-table food idea once the Board of Regents approves curriculum changes this fall.
In 2015, Bruin Culinary will integrate with the School of Business to provide a Degree in Hospitality Management that has a stackable one-year certification component.
Talcott proposes a robust stand-alone Baking and Pastry program by 2016.
In short, a culinary Associate Degree for a multiple culinary outcomes that addresses market demand through specialized training.
“What we eat and how we eat, impact our entire food system – no idea is too crazy,” remarked Talcott.
A restaurant-naming challenge will be open to all Bruins for an undoubtedly juicy reward after the Board of Regents approves curriculum changes. Bruins will find announcements in the Globe.
“We will offer professional development training and CTE hours on our home turf for all of our industry peers,” Talcott said after explaining there is limited opportunity available for continued professional training outside of schools like Johnston and Wales.