Niles students part of ‘Great Chefs’ event

Published 12:28 am Friday, April 4, 2003

By Staff
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Tickets are now available for "Dining with the Great Chefs of Tomorrow," a six-course gourmet dinner prepared and served by the culinary arts students of Ivy Tech State College under the direction of Program Chair Mike Stephans and other chefs from the American Culinary Federation.
The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at Ivy Tech's South Bend campus, 220 Dean Johnson Blvd. Proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund for culinary arts students.
Several Niles area students are participating in the dinner and are students in culinary arts at Ivy Tech.
Chairs for the event are Phil Newbold, CEO of Memorial Hospital and Health System, and Kathleen Sparks, vice president of McDonald's/KADA Partnership.
Stephans said, "I think even the most discerning diners will be very impressed with the capabilities of our students. They are very dedicated to their craft, and they're excited about showing off their skills to their families, friends and the community."
Niles area students
in program
Steve Gargis of Niles is a 2002 graduate of St. Joseph High School in South Bend. He is in his second semester of the culinary arts program. Gargis, who says hes always wanted to go into cooking, chose Ivy Tech because of the location, low cost and great instructors. Currently he works the night shift as a pantry cook at Knollwood Country Club in Granger, Ind., a job he earned after working for more than three years as a waiter. Gargis's goal is to become an executive chef or food and beverage professional. After he completes his two-year degree at Ivy Tech, he probably will go on to a four-year degree in business or hospitality administration.
Kelly Bishop, age 45, has worked in food service for 30 years. Bishop is currently the kitchen supervisor at Single Point Country Club. After a fire at the country club, the owners suggested she start taking classes while the building was being repaired, and they offered tuition assistance. She has been taking culinary arts classes part-time at Ivy Tech for the past year.
Joseph Berberick, age 21, has been taking classes full-time since he graduated from Buchanan High School three years ago. He always wanted to be a chef, and his first job was in food service. He chose Ivy Tech because it was close to home; he says he enjoys the small class sizes and the one-on-one help he receives from instructors. His career goal is to become an executive chef and own a restaurant. Berberick currently works as an assistant kitchen manager at the Single Point Country Club and a broiler cook at Morris Park.
Two levels of support are available. At both levels, diners will enjoy a gourmet meal, attentive service, live dinner music and a presentation on the preparation of menu items.
At the patron level, participants receive preferred seating, special recognition and an opportunity to join Chancellor Virginia Calvin for a reception at 5:30 p.m. The reception will feature an assortment of hors d'ouevres also prepared by the students.
Cost is $100 at the patron level, or $75 for the dinner event only. Tables of eight are available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (574) 289-7001 ext. 5355.
Culinary arts
at Ivy Tech
Now in its third year, the culinary arts program on Ivy Tech State Colleges South Bend campus enrolls more than 110 students from north-central Indiana, southwestern Michigan and beyond. Students range in age from recent high school graduates preparing for a first career, to senior scholars60 years of age and older planning for a career change.
Ivy Tech offers both associate degree and apprenticeship program tracks in the culinary arts. Both heavily emphasize food preparation through classes such as basic, intermediate and advanced food preparation; baking and garde manger (cold-food preparation). Students also receive a background in management, with classes in hospitality organization and human resources management, hospitality purchasing, menu planning and food and beverage cost control.
The associate degree program track can be completed in two years of full-time study, or longer if the student opts to attend part-time. Students take a total of 66 credits (approximately 20 classes), including 18 credits in general education courses such as public speaking, English composition and mathematics.
The associate degree program is especially popular with nontraditional students who want to train for a new career while continuing to work at their regular jobs.
The apprenticeship program track requires three years of intensive study and on-the-job training. Offered through the American Culinary Federation/South Bend Chapter, the program is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and ACF Educational Institute. Students complete 6,000 hours of hands-on cooking and work experience in an ACF-approved restaurant or institutional kitchen, augmented by a minimum of 572 hours of classwork at Ivy Tech.
Students earn a journeyman's card, a credential which provides entr/e to opportunities for work and further study throughout the world. They can choose to earn an associate degree in addition to their apprenticeship credential by taking general education courses during the summer terms.
One student who completed the apprenticeship program in summer 2002, April Lower of Bourbon, currently is completing an internship at the five-star Grosvenor Square Marriott Hotel in London, England.