Pierpont Community & Technical College officially opened its brand-new Culinary Academy on Jan. 23.
This new facility is housed at the Middletown Commons in White Hall and saw its first students as the college’s spring semester began.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide our students a new learning environment,” said Natalie Feltz, associate professor and Food Service Management Program coordinator at Pierpont.
“Through months of preparation and hard work from everyone in our program, we are so proud to unveil this facility.”
Pierpont’s Culinary Academy houses Pierpont’s award-winning Food Service Management Program, which offers degree specializations in Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts, and Nutrition & Dietetics Technology.
At its previous location, the Food Service Management Program’s three-degree specializations shared a single kitchen. Now, the program is equipped with two state-of-the-art training kitchens, a classroom, locker rooms and a variety of other training spaces for students to use.
“Previously, we had only one small kitchen for our three concentrations,” said Executive Chef and Culinary Instructor Tony Anobile. “Now, we have kitchens specific to the culinary and baking concentrations that provide students an authentic, professional, ‘real-world’ training experience.”
“One of the obstacles of our previous location was not enough space for the equipment needed to train students,” added Allison McCue, instructor and program coordinator for Pastry and Baking Arts. “The new facility will provide our students with the opportunity to work with a wide range of modern equipment that will prepare them for a career in the food service industry.”
The facility will not only prepare students to become future chefs, but will also give them the knowledge of the nutritional value of the foods.
“The Nutrition and Dietetic Technology specialization prepares students to earn an associate degree integrating food service management and nutrition science,” said Pam Hamilton, coordinator of the NDT option. “This state-of-the-art facility will prepare graduates for management positions and support their application of food preparation to both community nutrition and healthcare settings.”
Those who complete this program are eligible to sit for the credentialing exam to become registered dietetic technicians.
Pierpont expects that the new facility will allow students and the program to continue building on its great relationship with the community.
“By having our facility located at the Middletown Commons, it makes our program more accessible than ever,” said Natalie Feltz. “People walking or shopping at the Commons will be able to see our students working in the kitchens and witness why the Food Service Management Program is so highly acclaimed.”
“It will allow our students to be more involved with local restaurants,” added Culinary instructor, Chef Sara Feltz. “It will provide our students an opportunity to build those relationships with potential future employers.”
Pierpont will be holding a ribbon-cutting for the new Culinary Academy in the coming weeks.
For more information on Pierpont and the Food Service Management Program, visit pierpont.edu