Lackawanna bringing Culinary Arts program to Scranton
The Culinary Arts program was first offered to students beginning in 2011 at the College’s Lake Region Center in Hawley. Forty students are currently enrolled in the program, with many on track to graduate this spring. Students graduating from the program have completed externship opportunities at businesses and resorts including Wegmans, The Settlers Inn in Hawley, The French Manor Inn and Spa in Newfoundland, Hotel Fauchere in Milford, and Woodloch Resort in Hawley, adding valuable real-world experience to their education.
The Culinary Arts program is overseen by Culinary Institute of America graduates Chef Stephanie Decker and Chef Kristen McNally. Their combined talents bring more than five decades of restaurant industry experience directly to students in the rewarding program.
Eighty-two percent of students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program are also enrolled in the Hospitality Management degree offered by Lackawanna. Decker said students recognize the role that both backgrounds play in operating a successful restaurant, noting that many have expressed plans to become entrepreneurs.
“They’re not just learning how to cook,” Decker emphasized, noting that the College’s Hospitality Management program will also be available to students in Scranton. “They’re learning how to be successful in the restaurant and hotel business.”
The hands-on approach taken by the Culinary Arts program introduces students to modern cooking techniques, including the popular farm-to-table movement highlighting healthy, locally grown ingredients.
Students prepared the menu items for Wednesday’s luncheon that included seafood ravioli, tagliatelle, and gemelli pasta with a choice of lamb Bolognese, walnut pesto, or gewürztraminer cream sauce; roasted pork loin stuffed with spinach, roasted red peppers and cremini mushrooms served with a cabernet demi-glace; and pureed parsnips, red bliss, and sweet potatoes with assorted toppings.
“The mission of Lackawanna College and the mission of our Culinary program is to offer an outstanding education right in your backyard,” Decker said. “We see Scranton as one of the biggest metropolitan areas in northeastern Pennsylvania, but there’s nobody in Scranton training these students to get out there and get great jobs in an industry that is in need of talented employees.”
“Lackawanna College is proud to bring these important programs to its downtown Scranton campus, not only to help train young men and women in the culinary and hospitality fields, but also to help serve the needs of the regional hospitality community,” Lackawanna College President Mark Volk said. “We look forward to providing a world-class culinary education that will help translate into world-class dining experiences across the area.”
According to a recent news release from the National Restaurant Association, 2013 marked an 18-year high in restaurant-related job growth, adding jobs at a 3.7 percent rate last year compared to a total United States employment increase of 1.7 percent. The National Restaurant Association further projects that restaurants will add employment at 2.8 percent in 2014, which would represent the fourth consecutive year that the industry grew at more than 2.5 percent.
While plans to further expand the Culinary Arts program through 2015 are currently taking shape, Lackawanna College will also add the Sport and Recreation Management degree to the Kiesendahl School of Hospitality and Tourism at the Lake Region Center.
For more information on the culinary arts program, contact Stephanie Decker, Program Director of the Kiesendahl School of Hospitality and Tourism, at (570) 241-6975 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For enrollment information, visit www.lackawanna.edu/admissions or email email@example.com