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Calling All Budding Culinary Artists

Do you want to know the difference between pâté and pâté a choux, or “rigatoni from risotto?” For the past three summers, Columbia College has revealed the secrets of preparing haute cuisine through its popular Summer Culinary and Pastry Arts Institute. The same intensive course of study in the art of food preparation will be offered again this summer.

The program runs for eight weeks and will be held on Mondays through Thursdays from June 14 to Aug. 5. Instruction and training will be from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the college´s culinary labs and classrooms, located on the first floor of the Manzanita Building. Lunches will be provided for all program participants.

“The course is aimed at amateurs and professionals alike,” said Chef Gene Womble, Columbia College´s hospitality management program coordinator. “For example, it provides lots of hands-on experience for those who only know the basics, and it also serves as a great refresher course for professional chefs.”

Womble adds: “Our culinary program really appeals to a wide spectrum of students. They range in ages from 17 to 74, and the common bond is a passion to learn more about the intricacies of fine food preparation,” he said.

But the summer course goes beyond commercial food preparation. The broad training also covers food costing (estimating costs plus profit/loss per meal), menu design (menu planning), bakery (breads, pastries, cakes, pies and cookies), customer service (interacting with the public), and teamwork through serving weekly buffet luncheons at The Cellar Restaurant on the college campus.

Registration for the class will vary in price per student and is dependent on the number of units taken. Also required are a $50 course materials fee and a chef´s uniform, which costs about $50.

A program orientation will be held on Monday, June 14 at 8:30 a.m. in the culinary classroom. Certificates of completion will be awarded at the conclusion of the summer training program. To register for the program or for more information, call Womble at 588-5135.