WKCTC Culinary School!
Most of you know that a year and a half ago I decided to go back to college and get a degree in Culinary Arts. I am a former elementary teacher, and have four sons, so needless to say, I have stayed busy, but if you know me at all, you know my passion throughout all my life has been cooking! I decided it was time to really up my cooking game and get legit with a culinary degree. Well, I am in my fourth semester now, and I have to tell you....I had no idea the adventure that I was in for when I signed up for those first classes! I want to share just a little bit about how much I have enjoyed this program! It is so much more than just cooking classes! I go to West Kentucky Community and Technical College Culinary Arts Program. Oh my! This is a first-class program with excellent Chef instructors, and such a broad range of classes. My favorite part however, is my incredible friends that I have made here! They truly have become like family, as we have not only cooked up some awesome food together, but we have also learned about catering, nutrition, safety and sanitation, management, cost and control, and so much more. These people in this picture with me, and my other culinary friends,are some of the most talented people I know! They can create some amazing dishes and present them beautifully, every day in class. The class shown here is my International Cuisine class...what a cool class this is so far! We literally are going from country to country learning about their culinary history and their cuisine. So far we have gone from Italy,to Germany, and then on to Greece today!
This is a photo of the spread we created for Italy day! As you can see I am surrounded by some very talented Chefs-in-the making and it is truly inspiring to see the dedication and hard work the students put in everyday. Some will go on to be Chefs, caterers, restaurant owners or managers, bakers, or maybe even culinary instructors! Who knows? I do know that I truly have learned an even deeper appreciation for food, and the ingredients and traditions surrounding some of my favorite dishes. I have learned, and am continuing to learn new cooking skills and techniques and how to apply them. I have learned so much more about presenting food beautifully. Creating beautiful food truly is an art!
I want to introduce my two Chefs at school who are our instructors. Chef Erik Engelland, and Chef Laura Farrell. These two are so incredibly talented and provide us with a lot of information and instruction every day, both in the classroom and in the lab, which is our awesome kitchen. We are all learning so much from these two, but we have a great time too! We have a lot of laughs along the way! Both Chefs have extensive backgrounds in the culinary world and we are truly blessed to have them at WKCTC! They are always available to guide us and offer instruction and advice, and often times, just lend a listening ear.
The Culinary program is really growing! Right now, there are 63 students in the program! That is awesome! I am glad that more students are going into this field and have such a passion for food and cooking!
As I said earlier, the program is so much more than cooking classes. I have had classes in nutrition and wellness, human relations management, safety and sanitation, cost and control, front of house and catering, as well as basic food production, garde manger, baking, and am currently in the international cuisine class. The program offers a farm-to-table class, and an advanced pastry arts class as well, among other classes! Not only will I finish with an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts, I am also earning certificates as I go too. Another really cool thing is that many opportunities are provided for us to participate in catering events, and helping with other community events as well to apply our skills we have learned.
I just really wanted to share with my readers, what an awesome journey I am on at WKCTC in the Culinary Arts program! It truly is an adventure for me as I learn things that I will keep and share with others for the rest of my life, not to mention that I have made some dear friends that share my passion for food and for cooking....friendships I will treasure forever! If you have a passion for it too,or know someone who does, tell them about our incredible program we have right here at home! I plan to graduate in May after I complete just a few more classes and an internship. Also, remember, you are NEVER too old to learn new things and embark on new adventures! Life really is delicious...so eat it up!