Fast Recipes Features the Culinary Arts Program at Keiser University

Chef Kevin KeatingConsidering the Culinary Arts program at Keiser University?  We have had the honor to interview Chef Kevin Keating, Dean of Culinary Arts at Keiser University, on the classes, facilities and admissions process of the Culinary Arts program.



What makes the Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts special?

First and foremost it is the students. Their enthusiasm and passion for learning a craft that they love is what makes this program distinctive. Although each one of these students brings individual strengths and skills with them, when they start the program they all possess distinct commonalities. The first being the desire to be successful, whether that is as a chef, pastry chef, restaurant manager or entrepreneur, their aspirations for fulfillment of a dream run deep.

Commitment is an attribute the students also demonstrate throughout their course of studies. There are obstacles that challenge the student to keep their focus on their main goal, which is graduation.  Each culinary student is assigned an advisor to assist them when meeting their objectives and goals may seem out of reach.

Finally, our students are professionals. Being enrolled in an ACF accredited program, our faculty instills the importance of professionalism while in school and how it will carry over to success in the industry. Students are held to the same standards that an employer would expect from them in a restaurant kitchen such as uniform appearance, food quality, guest service and a positive attitude.

What kind of courses/programs do you offer?

At Keiser University, Center for Culinary Arts, we offer two Associate of Science degree programs, one in Culinary Arts and the other in Baking and Pastry. A sampling of the two curriculums appear below:

Culinary Arts 

Baking and Pastry 

Food Service Sanitation 

Laminated Doughs and Pastries 

Stocks and Sauces 

European Yeast Breads 

Nutrition and Sensory Evaluation 

American Yeast Breads 

Dining Room Service 

Petit Fours and Cookies 

International Cuisine 

Fruit Cookery and Confiture 

Pastry and Desserts 

Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts 

Meat Science 

American Cakes and Icings 

American Regional Cuisine 

European Cakes and Icings 

Classical French Cuisine 

Modern Baking 

Garde Manger 

Amenities and Showpieces  

What are classes like?

Each class is set up as 80 contact hours, four days a week Monday through Thursday. Classes are kept on an average of 18:1 student to teacher ratio or smaller to allow the student the maximum potential for interaction with the instructor. The food production classes allow for ample hands on learning along with portions of each class stressing cognitive skills. Students are given recipes to follow pertaining to the day’s lesson and are evaluated on a variety of factors including accuracy, taste and aroma, plate presentation, work efficiency, teamwork and sanitation. Students are encouraged to taste all of the foods prepared in the class and discuss the flavors and textures they find appealing. This is the time for students to experiment and explore foods and to build a solid foundation for their career as a chef.

Could you tell us about the teaching facilities?

The Center for Culinary Arts consists of three kitchens, a bakery, a dining room, a storeroom, a classroom, “Saint Honore Café” and Administrative offices. Lab 1 is a 1,200 sq. ft. production kitchen that is used for a la carte service and introductory culinary classes. Lab 2 is 1,100 sq. ft. and is versatile in that it can be used for Garde Manger, Stocks and Sauces and Principles of Foods. Lab 3 is a 900 sq. ft. a la carte restaurant production kitchen. It is utilized for Classical French, Regional American and International Cuisine classes in conjunction with the Dining Room Service classes to allow the students the opportunity to work in an authentic restaurant setting. The 700 sq. ft. bakery contains full deck ovens, convection oven, maple top tables and a full battery of baking equipment. The dining room can be sectioned into three areas for classrooms or small parties or opened up fully for a reception or party holding hundreds of people. On occasion the students will prepare, cook and serve guests of Keiser University in the Dining Room.

What is the admissions process like?

Putting students first has been Keiser University's philosophy for over 30 years.

The admission process is done on an individual basis with an admissions counselor.  Prospective students should contact Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts at 1-877-CHEF123 or at www.keiseruniversity.edu .  Our different departments--Academics, Financial Services, Admissions, Student Services—collaborate to make each student’s experience personal.   Keiser University’s year-round one-class at a time schedule is conducive to working adults and students with family obligations.  Keiser University’s flexible schedule offers day, evening and online classes to accommodate our student’s professional obligations and personal lives.

What responses have you received from your students?

The responses from our students and graduates are positive. The students enjoy the small class sizes and the hands on learning environment. The interactions with other students in a fast paced curriculum performing tasks they love is something they have always wanted to do.  Our graduates have found that the education they received while at Keiser University’s Center for Culinary Arts has prepared them well for the industry. These graduates are now in successful positions and have the vantage point of seeing the importance of a well rounded education. They contact me to give our current students opportunities for employment knowing that a student graduating from Keiser University will be a student prepared to take on the challenges of the world of culinary arts.

Accreditation:

Keiser University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.

Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts, Tallahassee and Melbourne campuses, are accredited by the American Culinary Federation Inc., 180 Center Place Way, St. Augustine, Florida 32095, (940) 824-4468, www.acfchefs.org.
 

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