Twice a year, students prepare dishes, ranging from the exotic such as duck, to the popular, such as crab cakes.
It is more than just an opportunity to showcase their talents, it is also practical experience and mandatory, since students are graded by their instructor, chef Hillary Gallagher the program director and lead instructor for the program.
The buffet is actually the students’ final exam.
“The menu is a culmination of the class,” Gallagher said.
The class in charge of the meal, held at the Mountain View Campus, was the program’s garde manger class.
Along with the eight students from that class were other students currently completing other classes in the program Gallagher said.
According to the school’s catalog, garde manger introduces basic pantry manager principles, utilization, preparation, and integration into other kitchen operations.
Popular TV shows on the Food Network and reality shows such as “Top Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen often give a glamorous, yet somewhat unrealistic view of what goes on in restaurant kitchens Gallagher said.
But the culinary arts program at Chattahoochee Tech gives students a true “method-based foundation cooking” for building a career in the field.
The college offers diploma and degree programs through its respected Culinary Arts program at the Mountain View Campus.
The 62-hour degree program prepares students for the culinary profession. The program emphasizes a combination of culinary theory and practical application necessary for successful employment.
Graduates who are current practitioners will benefit through enhancement of career potential. Those entering the culinary arts field will be prepared to pursue diverse opportunities as cooks, bakers or caterers/culinary managers. Students are also encouraged to take business management and accounting classes for better business practices.
“We’re very proud of the program,” Gallagher said.
College president Ron Newcomb said the buffet, which features meats, cheeses, custom dishes and desserts, is a testament not only to the program, but to the students as well.
“There’s not anybody that comes to this buffet that can’t see what a great program we have,” Newcomb said. “You’ve got students that adore what they do and they’re good at it and it shows. They’re motivated, they’re going to stick with it and get great jobs and great careers.”