Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

What's Cooking College Expands Culinary Program

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

What's Cooking College Expands Culinary Program

Article excerpt

With the construction of a kitchen, dining room, labs and classrooms, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park will nearly double the recipe for one of its oldest and most popular courses of study.

About 350 students are signed up this fall for classes in culinary arts or hotel and restaurant management. That's a 7 percent increase from a year ago. College officials say they're using every available classroom during every possible hour for the program - and still turning away students for lack of space.

The two-story, 29,700-square-foot addition will allow the college to increase enrollment to about 600 students. It will be built on the south side of the campus next to the cafeteria. The Junior College District board sealed the deal Monday night, voting to hire K&S Associates Inc. as the general contractor at a cost of $4,483,000. Plans call for work to start this fall and finish before the 1998-1999 school year begins late next summer. Some students in the program just take a course or two like baking for personal enrichment, said department chairwoman Kathy Schiffman. But most students are going for their two-year associate degrees, in cooking or management. All take basic college courses such as composition, science and sociology in addition to practical ones. Behind The Kitchen Door Reed Miller is teaching a second-year food specialties class in a tiny classroom that opens onto a typical restaurant kitchen. Today's menu is Viennese, including goulash, stuffed sole, pork chops, potato dumplings and apples in robes, a dessert of apple slices in rich dough, to be served with ice cream. Seventeen students in spotless, white chefs' coats take notes as Reed reviews the recipes, pointing out, for instance, the difference between Hungarian and Spanish paprika and the problem of overcooking potatoes. Then Reed divides the students into groups to cook, one or two recipes to a group. Out come measuring spoons and cups. It's a ballet, each student doing a special part, yet all working together. The student chefs include Harvey Johnson, 62, a vocational teacher planning to retire to a new career; Rebecca DiFilippo, 53, a former medical practice administrator with a bachelor's degree; and Dianne Rattini, 27, a restaurant server who wants a better-paying job. …

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