Valdosta Tech serves up new culinary facility - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta Tech serves up new culinary facility

By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta Technical College is now offering hands-on culinary training, thanks to their new 2,500 square foot culinary arts wing.

This week marks the grand opening for the 1.2 million dollar addition.  In the past, Valdosta Tech's culinary students were given limited opportunities in the kitchen at Valwood School.

Now, the college's own teaching kitchen boasts five ovens, cutting edge cooking equipment, and a large walk-in cooler.  The kitchen has over a quarter of a million dollars worth of refrigerators.  Construction for the spacious facility took a full year. 

"Every student gets to put their hands on food and get to the heat as soon as possible," says Amory Basford, Culinary Arts Program Coordinator.  

This state-of-the-art addition has enabled Valdosta Tech to offer culinary students three courses of study: a Line Cooking Certificate, a Catering Certificate, and a two-year Associate Degree in Culinary Arts.

When asked if students were excited by these options, Basford said, "My class has doubled from last quarter, already!"

Students can now train on cutting-edge equipment, including an Alto-Shaam oven which can function as an oven, stove, or even a smoker.  This type of training is crucial in preparing students for jobs in restaurants.

"This kitchen matches most kitchens you would work in in a normal kitchen surrounding," explains Basford.  "They can go from here to there and there won't be a glitch in it.  It's a smooth transition."

Excitement about the new facility is quickly growing. "The culinary program is one of the programs that I'm asked about the most," says Christina Moore, Public Relations Coordinator.  

The large teaching kitchen allows students to cook simultaneously, conveniently, and on the type of equipment they'll be using in the real world.

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