For the second year in a row, KaTom Restaurant Supply, Inc.’s annual study has ranked the College of DuPage Culinary Arts program among the top 20 in the U.S.
The annual study bases rankings on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard database, including available program options, cost of attendance and career outcomes.
Program Chair and Professor of Culinary, Baking and Pastry Arts Tim Meyers said COD’s ranking is a clear validation of the College’s commitment to providing students with a high-quality, relevant education.
“One of our primary goals is to be proactive with the program,” he said. “We are constantly challenging ourselves to update curriculum and incorporate industry trends to provide students with the education and experience they need to be successful.”
Meyers also credits the department’s success to the state-of-the-art facilities and technology at the Culinary & Hospitality Center (CHC). The 60,000-square-foot, LEED-certified facility contains several spaces that provide students with an opportunity to gain real-world experience, including the Wheat Café, Waterleaf Restaurant and the Inn at Water's Edge. The CHC also features skills kitchens, two baking labs, an environmentally controlled chocolate room for confectioners, a culinary amphitheater and a commercial laundry facility for hospitality students.
“We’ve worked very hard collectively as a group to make this building successful,” said Meyers. “You’re not just walking into a building, you’re walking into a workplace.”
The CHC recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a gala planned and executed by COD’s culinary and hospitality students. Culinary students designed and cooked the menu, and wine students coordinated wine pairings. Event planning students planned and marketed the gala, which also included a silent auction as well as art and music created by COD students.
“All of these students had to work together to make this event successful,” said Meyers. “The students really got a great experience in figuring things out themselves and gained crucial hands-on experience.”