Monday, November 3, 2008

High School Students Earn Passport to a Tasty Future

Students at The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire learn to make a variety of cuisine. Now, high school seniors have an opportunity to learn some of these techniques and recipes through the Passport to A Tasty Future program.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is doubling its efforts with the popular “Passport to a Tasty Future” program for teens it began last year.

“This program is for high school seniors only. It lets them find out if a career in the culinary arts is right for them,” said Chef Eyad Joseph, academic director of the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. “It’s a way for them to see how culinary classes are conducted as well as our commitment to their education. These classes will help them secure a better understanding of the type of cuisines we teach as well as our curriculum.”

One group of high school seniors began instruction Oct. 25. Another group, to which The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire can accept a few more students, begins instruction Jan. 24, 2009.

The program starts with Basic Knife Skills and Cooking Methods. Students learn techniques from Julienne to Tourne cuts while focusing on repetition and consistency. They’ll explore methods of chopping, mincing and cutting of vegetables and proteins.

Also attendees to the first class study proper food amounts for ideal plate presentations, along with menu development. And they will learn a variety of important cooking methods such as sautéing, grilling, frying, braising and poaching, along with the importance of timing and heat distribution.

The first group of students took this course on Oct. 25. The second group will do so on Jan. 24, 2009.

From there, the students will learn a variety of types of cooking, starting with Latin regional dishes. Group 1 studies these Nov. 15, Group 2 does so Feb. 21, 2009.

As the two groups move into a holiday season, Christmas for Group 1 and Easter for Group 2, the focus changes to baking and pastries. Group 1 students will study this type of cooking Dec. 6, Group 2 on March 7, 2009.

The first group is in for a “Chef’s surprise,” on its last session, which takes place Dec. 13. “It’s up to the chef who teaches that class,” said Director of Admissions Monica Jeffs. “But it will have something to do with Christmas.”

It’s no secret what the second group will do on its final class meeting, taking place March 28, 2009. They’ll be making Easter brunch.

“Our Culinary program was renamed earlier this year as the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California – Inland Empire,” Chef Joseph said. “In keeping with our new name, the Passport to a Tasty Future courses will expose high school seniors to the Culinary Arts program we offer, and give them a chance to understand world cuisine, which focuses on much more than the Classical French meals they may be familiar with.”

Each student will receive a uniform, ID badge, and knives to work with. The students will be asked to wear black clothes, non-skid shoes and to bring two small towels to each course.

“We want to provide them with everything they will need to successfully plan their future in the Culinary Arts field,” Chef Joseph said. “This program will help prepare them for a career in the hospitality field as well as culinary arts. “

The class is limited to just 24 students There is a waiting list, in case some students can’t commit to the six-month program.

This is the second year the International Culinary School has offered the Passport to a Tasty Future program. In the 2007-2008 school year, there were 15 students on the reserve list, as well as 24 in the original group, most of whom completed the courses.

During the International Culinary School’s summer quarter, 18 of those original 24 students in the first Passport to a Tasty Future decided to pursuer a career in culinary arts and enrolled as first-year students.

“Instructors teaching our new students have said that they see a huge difference between the students coming in with no prior experience and the students who have taken the Passport program before,” Chef Joseph said.

The check-in for each session is at 9:30 a.m. with programs starting at 10 and ending at 1 p.m.

For information on openings for the Passport To A Tasty Future workshops call Mario Alcazar, at (800) 353-0812 ext. 2165. Interested parties may also e-mail him at

It’s not too late to start classes at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. Courses begin Nov. 13 and classes are offered in the day, evening and on weekends for new and reentry students.

For a free tour of The International Culinary School or for more information call (909) 915-2100 or go on line to

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion Design and Retail Management, and Media Arts & Animation. There are also Associate of Science degrees in Graphic Design and Culinary Arts. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of the Art Institutes (, a system of more than 40 locations throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.