New Culinary Arts facility promises fresh and healthy

A proposed new facility will offer outdoor dining, an open-kitchen design, modern food-court kiosks and ethnic food choices.

A proposed new facility will offer outdoor dining, an open-kitchen design, modern food-court kiosks and ethnic food choices at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash.

Learn more about the Culinary remodel.

Clark College’s Culinary Arts, Food program opened on campus in 1958. Today’s facility was built in 1980 and at that time considered state of the art. Over the years there have been minor upgrades, but there have been no structural or service improvements to the facility.

That needs to change. We must be relevant. Clark is committed to producing healthy food options for our students so they stay on campus to learn, remain engaged and complete their educational goals.

The college will make that change by expanding the footprint of the facility by about one-third, remodeling existing space, enhancing classrooms and the retail dining room, adding a food court and new equipment for an estimated $6.5 million.

As Clark College Foundation begins raising funds for this project, the Culinary Arts’ curriculum is undergoing a face-lift too. Based on input from public and industry partners and a survey, the updated teaching methods will focus on demonstration training, theory and skill development.

The new program proposal recommends:

  • holding lab activities on fundamental culinary skills and techniques,
  • demonstrations by certified instructors and visiting chefs about local, regional and international cuisines,
  • providing vegetarian, vegan and food-sensitive options,
  • teaching industry trends and career options, and
  • accepting new students only in the fall with several
  • certificate and degree options.

For the new curriculum to thrive, the facility will be modernized to include classroom technology, a demonstration kitchen, restaurant and production kitchen, stand-alone production kitchen for food-court options, multiple kiosks for cook-to-order items and renovated space for the Baking program.

The Culinary Arts, Food and Baking programs have consistently been at or over capacity. By remodeling our existing facility to make it relevant in the marketplace, students will have the resources to produce healthy and fresh food options that will nourish their bodies and those of other students and Clark employees.

A further result is enhanced learning, which the local food service industry will reap the benefits of as Clark students arrive ready for employment.

Clark’s Culinary Arts’ buffet line hasn’t been updated in more than three decades. The current area lacks an inviting space for people to gather.

Clark’s Culinary Arts’ buffet line hasn’t been updated in more than three decades. The current area lacks an inviting space for people to gather.

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