South Arkansas Community College opens Culinary Arts program this fall

Local News

(03/13/19) The South Arkansas Community College hopes to meet a popular need with the new culinary arts program that’s being offered in the fall.

“There are very few chefs and there’s not a lot of classicaly trained cooks around here,” said Lillian Ellen.

Ellen was recently named the program director. She’s from El Dorado and has been to many culinary schools. She recently graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Texas. 

The new program offered to students was a two year process in the making. It was first brought up by local restuarants in the area. The president of the college, Baraba Jones, says they’re excited to finally meet the need of area businesses.

“They identified more needs for qualified cooks in the area,” President Jones said.

Last year, the college began offering non credit courses for students but this new program will go a step further in ensuring students are prepared to enter the culinary and hospitality workforce. 

The program isn’t just for students who aspire to be cooks. It’s also for those students who want to learn what it takes to pursue a hospitality career. They’ve established partnerships with local restaurants to identify what students need to be successful. 

“There will also be a serving class so no matter what part in the hospitality industry you’re in, you’re going to benefit from the class,” Ellen said. 

Ellen plans to build a strong culinary army and hopes her passion for food and people will spark an interest in others. She wants the program to be fun, not just by showing students the fundamentals but taking them to an entire new culinary world beyond what the students may be used to.

“I want everyone in my class to be magic with the knife. I want them to fall in love with food,” Ellen said. I want them to go out on their own and try to discover new ingredients.”

Registration will open in April. Construction is currently underway to prepare for classes to begin in the fall. 

For more information about the program visit the program’s website.

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