Institute Seeks to Transform Culinary Education with Artisense Method

The Professional Culinary Institute on June 20 opened its state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar campus in the heart of Silicon Valley. One of the few chef-owned and chef-designed culinary schools in the country, the Professional Culinary Institute features a curriculum based on the "revolutionary" Artisense Method of instruction.

With more than 30 years of experience working as a business executive, chef, author and educator, the Institute's president, Chef Richard Battista, CEC, CEPC, CCE, has assembled a staff of world-renowned chef-instructors, many of whom have held previous management and instructional positions at the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales University, California Culinary Academy, Art Institute of California - Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Culinary Institute.

Frustrated with the shortcomings of existing culinary schools, these prominent chefs have joined together to create a curriculum and learning environment that they hope will advance the quality of culinary education in America. While many schools try to teach the art of cooking in front of a chalkboard, the Institute's instructors will demonstrate every cooking technique before students attempt them. Each class is limited to no more than 16 students per instructor to maximize individual attention. The Artisense Method transforms the educational experience by offering intense hands-on training, full demonstrations, and accelerated coursework at a reasonable tuition, as students learn from the pros.

"Our business philosophy and approach to teaching significantly differ from the other schools. As professional chefs and seasoned instructors, we firmly understand what skills employers seek and recognize how personal attention in the classroom helps students succeed," says Battista.

Industry luminaries on staff include:
  • Master Pastry Chef Bo Friberg, CMPC, author of the baking and pastry Bible, "The Professional Pastry Chef," who chairs the Baking and Pastry Department;

  • Chef Mial Parker, CEC, CCE, three-time Culinary Olympics gold-medal winner, the Culinary Arts Department chair;

  • Chef Randy Torres, current captain of the Western Region Culinary Olympics Team, with whom he won Gold and Silver Medals in the 2000 Olympic competitions, serving as a Culinary Instructor and Student Team Manager.
The Institute offers a Diploma of Essential Professional Culinary Skills and a Diploma of Essential Professional Baking and Pastry Skills. Paid "externships" in actual food-service establishments give students the real-world experience they will need prior to beginning their culinary and baking/pastry arts careers. The fast-paced curriculum allows students to be working as culinary professionals in as little as eight months, providing a superior education that also saves them time and money.

"Artisense takes inspiration from the European Apprenticeship training system of explanation, demonstration and execution, which stimulates all of the senses. Our experience tells us that students learn and retain cooking techniques faster and more effectively with this unique method," comments Chef George Hadres, CEC, the Institute's director of education. "The Institute is positioned to quickly become the industry leader in quality training and student satisfaction."

Strategically located in Campbell, Calif., between San Francisco and Monterey, the Institute plans to meet the ever-increasing demand for expertly trained chefs throughout the United States. Students have convenient access to the finest ingredients to ply their trade, from fresh produce and the choicest of meats, to cheeses and wines that rival those found anywhere in the world, as they study in the heart of Silicon Valley. In addition, attractive and affordable student housing is conveniently located within close proximity to the school.

The 20,000-square-foot campus features four Culinary Kitchen classrooms, two Baking and Pastry Kitchen classrooms and two theater-style Demonstration Kitchens, complete with video monitors and recording equipment. Designed to set the gold standard in the industry, each ultra-modern classroom is furnished with the latest equipment and appliances. The Institute will be able to accommodate 800 students at its maximum capacity.

Enrollment is currently under way for the fall class session, which commences on Sept. 6. The Professional Culinary Institute is located at 700 West Hamilton Ave., #300, in Campbell, Calif. To learn more, please telephone 1-866-318-CHEF (1-866-318-2433) or 408-370-9190. Program details and enrollment information are available at the Institute's Web site, www.pcichef.com.

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