Culinary arts program prepares students for jobs in the industry

Valerie van den Broek, Features Editor

Narrator: The culinary arts program at City College assists students to become chefs by working in student-run restaurants like the JSB Cafe and the Gourmet Dining Room. Since the early 70’s students have been learning the skills necessary to master techniques from what ingredients to use, to gourmet plate presentations. Experiences they will use later on in life, at home or at their job.

Arana Gonzalez: I’ve been coming here for about three years now, and I love it. The atmosphere, the environment it’s pretty laid back, but at the same time, you still learn a lot. Coming here taught me, like, techniques, fundamentals and how to create stuff out of three or four ingredients using the techniques you’ve learned in the beginning, and I’ve taken that and ran with it. 

Narrator: Students operate in a fast-paced environment to prepare them for a competitive industry while sharing their knowledge and skills to cook dishes for their fellow students to enjoy and discuss. 

Charles Fredericks: Cooking is one of those great transferable jobs. You can move anywhere in the world and cook and still have a job. People are eating everywhere. So we have our cooks going everywhere. I mean all over America, all over the world as we know it. Predominantly I’d say 60% to 70% of the people who do graduate from our program are working in the community actively right now. 

Georgia Akers: I love this program. My father actually went to this program, graduated in ‘91. So it’s always been a good program. He is a restaurateur, he owns his own restaurant now like he’s very successful. I’m basically a junior sous chef and I’m 20 years old so I’m pretty happy about it.