Page 35 - BusinessWest December 12, 2022
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 Chef Warren
Leigh speaks with students at the start of
a class.
she graduated more than a decade ago, and she’s beyond impressed.
“It’s incredible. We went from one and a half kitchens to five. So that in itself is huge growth for us,” she said. “But seeing the students able to use this equipment, versus what we had when
I was a student, it’s just incredibly beneficial to them because this is what they’re using in the industry. We’re not shoving six students around a range. In fact, this is better than they would see in most industry kitchens; they can learn on the best equipment possible.”
“Every industry is looking
for employees, and especially hospitality. Most all the restaurants are hiring for some position.”
Briana Marizan is one of those current stu- dents, working toward her associate degree.
“I came here because I want to be a chef. I want to perfect my craft and then move up,” she said, adding that instructors are sensitive to the learning and work styles of each student. “Each chef brings something unique to the table, and they teach us not only what works best for them, but also what might work best for us.”
As part of its mission to support the region’s hospitality industry, the institute also regularly runs free, eight-week line-cook training and cer- tification courses. Participants learn all the essen-
    Staff Photo
  even greater pressure to retain workforce in the post-pandemic era, beset by the Great Resigna- tion at the same time when most people have returned to their old dining-out habits.
There has a been a culinary-arts program, in one form or another, at HCC for about 35 years, though the program was more hospitality-related than culinary-focused years ago. It has had sev- eral homes over the years, none of them large or particularly well-equipped.
The facility at the Cubit, however, features a fully equipped demonstration kitchen; a produc-
tion kitchen set up European-style, with the stu- dent chefs facing each other and communicating with each other as they work together to prepare a meal; two teaching kitchens; a bake shop; class- rooms; a student lounge; and an 80-seat dining facility to host events. As a broad hospitality pro- gram, it also maintains a hotel lab with a mock front desk and bedroom.
Hindle, whose role includes food ordering, making sure classes run smoothly, supporting the students and instructors, and more, has seen the program and its physical home evolve since
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