Southeast Tech to offer Culinary Training Program geared for displaced workers
Red Wing, Minn – (MSC-ST) Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical was approved to receive a grant from Workforce Development Inc. through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The funding will be used to develop a short-term Culinary Training Program, designed to bring displaced workers back into the workforce in the fine dining arena. The program will be lead by esteemed Chef Tom Skold of the Harborview Café in Pepin, Wis. Skold has been chef at the critically acclaimed Harbor View Café for the past 15 years and has been cooking professionally for over 25 years. While the Harbor View, located just off the banks of the Mississippi River, offers seasonal dining; Tom is busy in the off-season leading his very popular cooking classes in Southeastern Minnesota. Skold is a graduate of Johnson & Wales College culinary program and also holds a Food & Nutrition degree from UW-Stout in Menomonie, Wis.
Students entering this 43-hour training program can expect to learn cooking skills associated with quality restaurants and sit-down exquisite dining. Skold will share his affinity for cooking and his expertise in the use of fresh garden ingredients, while teaching the attributes that create interest and offer uniqueness that leads to success in the kitchen. Some of the specific skills covered will be an introduction to:
· Identification and quality assessment
· Time management and organizational skills
· Restaurant Management: Catering and cafeteria options
· Safe food practices
· Knife handling skills
· Customer service and satisfaction
· Topics on alcohol/drug abuse issues in kitchen settings
Classes will be held in the professional kitchen at Mississippi National Golf Links located just outside of Red Wing, Minn. Students will attend four weeks of training held consecutively on Mondays and Tuesdays, with the next session due to start November 2 and again January 4. Students in the program will spend Monday’s as prep days and Tuesday’s cooking and serving. In their second – fourth week they will be serving an eager clientele as guests from the region are invited to dine and enjoy their services. Upon completion, students will possess the marketable skills needed to pursue a rewarding career in the restaurant/food preparation industry.
Robert Nilsson, Training Coordinator for Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical says there is a big demand for chefs along the Mississippi River corridor and throughout the southern region of the state. According to Skold who teaches with emphasis in hospitality, the region lends itself to destination dining, and adds that despite the slower economy, the Harborview dining experience continues to be in high demand, especially with metro travelers who enjoy day trip getaways. As Nilsson adds, there are many bed and breakfast communities both on and off the river that are in need of these services, so the job market is good. Skold says “Our job is to feed hungry people and I am excited to learn from my students what they like about cooking and what sparks their interest.” He encourages students to explore their creativity on their own outside of the classroom as well and share their experiences with other students.
Tuition for the class is covered through grant funding, students interested in seeing if they qualify for entrance to the program should inquire with local your Workforce Office or call 507-292-5176 for additional referral.