During the coldest days in February, Kingsborough Community College warmly welcomed students on-campus from high schools throughout the five boroughs for Winter Chefs, a week-long, hands-on culinary experience in partnership with the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), Kingsborough Community College, and College Now. by Joyce Appelman
The Winter Chefs program exposed participants to a professional kitchen, offered the chance to explore various aspects of the foodservice industry, and enhanced their technical skills. The students, who were from sophomore to senior level, must have completed at least one semester of culinary studies, and must maintain a cumulative average of 75 or higher to be eligible to participate.
“I was excited to welcome these New York City high school students to the KCC kitchens for a training experience which samples the Culinary and Pastry arts courses taught by our faculty,” said KCC’s Culinary Arts Program Director, Chef Thomas J. Smyth. “Through the Winter Chefs college experience, hundreds of students have shared an introduction to new recipes, and products and skills taught in the Culinary and Pastry Arts since we began collaborating seven years ago; we look forward to a continued relationship with C-CAP.”
“The KCC Winter Chefs program is an invaluable introduction for C-CAP students,” said C-CAP President Susan Robbins. “They get not only access to the depth of post-secondary culinary courses at Kingsborough Community College, but also a front-row seat to the incredible opportunities available to them in their own backyard.”
KCC Culinary Arts staff instructors Dominguez and Clark prepared a rigorous week of skills training that was both tasty and challenging for students at all levels, second year to seniors. Students focused on French and Italian cuisine with concentrations on braising, stewing, fresh pasta, baking, sautéing, and making favorites like crepes, ravioli, and biscotti. On the last day, the students prepared a lunch to share with visitors and guests.
The KCC partnership with C-CAP, in collaboration with the College Now program at Kingsborough, has been beneficial to participating students from the New York City metropolitan area interested in careers in the hospitality industry. By providing a first-hand look and a well-rounded experience, students were able to increase their technical, product and equipment identification, as well as their organizational skills. They also became familiar with a post-secondary school campus and the demands of higher education.
Eighteen students participated in this year’s Winter Chefs program from citywide high schools including George Westinghouse High School (Brooklyn); Food and Finance High School (Manhattan); High School of Hospitality Management (Manhattan); Long Island City High School (Queens); School for International Studies (Brooklyn); Tottenville High School (Staten Island), and William E. Grady High School (Brooklyn). C-CAP provided chef jackets, free Metro cards, as well as administrative and site support. Kingsborough provided kitchen and classroom space, all necessary product and equipment necessary to execute recipes, all recipes and written materials, and chef instructors.
Kingsborough Community College’s Culinary Arts program is a comprehensive training program designed for successful entry into the creative, high-paced workplaces of the food industry. Students may enroll in the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts—a 60-credit, 2-year college degree including over 600 hours of hands-on kitchen classes and internship experiences, or for a Certificate in Culinary Arts & Food Management—a one-year certificate designed for students with a college degree in another field. Kingsborough also features an on-campus learning, student-run restaurant, The Ocean View Dining Room, where students learn to work in the kitchen and dining room of a fine dining restaurant in a safe, mentored environment.
Kingsborough Community College serves approximately 14,000 full- and part-time students a year in credit and non-credit bearing courses in liberal arts and career education. As one of the City University of New York’s seven community colleges, Kingsborough provides a high-quality education through associate degree programs that prepare students for transfer to senior colleges or entry into professional careers, and is dedicated to promoting student learning and development as well as strengthening and serving its diverse community.