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Seattle culinary society gives $10,000 to the Culinary Arts program


Culinary Arts students

Culinary Arts students.

The Seattle chapter of The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society, has given $10,000 to the Edmonds College Foundation to support the college’s Culinary Arts program.

This fall, the Culinary Arts program opened its remodeled commercial kitchens — one for cooking and one for baking — and fine-dining restaurant in Brier Hall. While the remodel was underway, the Edmonds College Foundation helped the program raise funds to equip the kitchens and restaurant with items including commercial quality and capacity ovens, freezers, mixers, and ranges.

“The gift from Chaîne des Rôtisseurs will help train the next generation of chefs using the same equipment they will find on the job,” said Crhis Marx, Executive Director of the Edmonds College Foundation. “We’re pleased to have the support of this prestigious culinary community for our students.”

Sixty students are enrolled in Culinary Arts, which graduated its first class in 1987.

The training prepares students for positions as cooks, kitchen managers, caterers, servers, and hosts in the food service industry and gives them the skills needed to enter management training positions in fine dining, fast food, and institutional food service. Students in the program range in age from 18 to 60. They include recent high school graduates learning the craft and industry professionals adding to their knowledge of culinary technique and theory.

A baking certificate is the newest addition to the program. It can be completed in one year and prepares students for entry-level work as bakers for hotels and restaurants as well as catering companies, independent bakeries, and the bakeshops in major grocery stores.

“Since our students will go on to prepare foods in some of the Northwest’s best restaurants, we want them to be trained on the most up-to-date equipment,” said Culinary Arts Department chair Traci Edlin. “We appreciate this gift and what it will mean for our students.”

Culinary Arts graduates of the college work at restaurants and catering companies in Snohomish and King counties, including: Olives, Ray’s Boathouse, Crush, Canlis, The Rock, Woodfired Pizza, Shell Creek, Bon Appetit at the Seattle Art Museum, Roadhouse Grill, Ponti’s Seafood Grill, the Tom Douglas restaurants, Celebration Catering, and Theo Chocolate. They also run their own restaurants and catering businesses.

The Culinary Arts program is respected within the profession. Students in the program get valuable hands-on experience, participating in prestigious apprenticeships from the Cannes Film Festival to the organic and sustainable Quillisascut Farm School in Colville. For the past eight years, the college’s chefs have been invited to the International Pinot Noir Celebration, a gathering of the top international pinot noir winemakers and guest chefs from notable Northwest restaurants.

The program also prepares and serves all the food on campus. It operates a fine-dining restaurant, cafeteria, Triton Espresso stand, and catering service.

A graduate of the program, Jonas Drake, won the Seattle chapter of The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Jeune Commis (Young Chefs) competition in 2006. Drake went on to open a barbecue restaurant, Smokin’ BJs, with fellow alumnus Bradley Thomas, to rave reviews. He was voted best up-and-coming chef by KING 5’s "Evening Magazine" in 2007. The college’s food services manager, Dan Mitchell, is an active member of The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

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Edmonds College Foundation