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Something New is Cooking: First Students Arrive for Culinary Arts Offering


The University of Cincinnati is serving up a new program offering as school begins Sept. 22 – a Culinary Arts and Science Program in UC’s College of Applied Science. Offered jointly by UC and by Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, the program is the first of its kind in Ohio and one of the few in the nation that blends the art and the science of food preparation to prepare students for careers in food service, packaging, development and research.

Date: 9/14/2004 12:00:00 AM
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

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Here’s some food for thought:  According to the Institute of Food Technologists, recent food science graduates across the nation (who are IFT members) had a median starting salary of $45,000 in 2001, and as of 2004, food technologists with experience are earning about $73,000.

Growing demand and changes in the food industry – research and development of products from haute cuisine to mass-produced, ready-to-eat meals found on grocers’ shelves – are among the reasons why UC and Cincinnati State have founded the state’s first baccalaureate degree program in Culinary Arts and Science. 

In the new course, students will attend two years at Cincinnati State concentrating on the art of food preparation before finishing out their last three years at UC where the concentration is on the science involved in the food industry.  (The joint program lasts a total of five years because of UC’s co-operative education program which allows students to alternate quarters spent in the classroom with paid, professional work in the area of their major.)  The new program is one of only three such offerings in the country.

One of the students entering UC this fall is Emily Slusher, 28, currently a culinary technician at Givaudan Flavors in Carthage.  Having worked as a chef for about 10 years, Slusher now tests emerging food products to replicate the flavors of classical cooking while also simplifying manufacturing and processing steps.  “Basically,” she explained, “In a food product, I try to replicate what a chef would produce.  I see what ingredients can be substituted, what works and what doesn’t.” 

However, Slusher adds that she’s not a scientist and that’s where a UC degree will come in handy.  “Right now, I have to work with someone with a science background as we seek to develop new products and understand how they react to heat, cooling, storage and other variables.  I’ll be far more marketable in the industry, and it will be a great savings for the company after I’ve acquired that science background with the new degree.  And really, I’m most excited about learning all the science involved with food.  I hate feeling that I don’t know this stuff yet…and much of it is applicable not only to the food industry but to such consumer-products industries like cleaning products, laundry soaps…products that use fragrances….”

Similarly, Nicole Wiley, 29, is currently working as a chef’s assistant but wants to eventually transition to the food development and flavoring industry.  “This is the next step for me as it’s a very portable degree, and the industry is really broadening because of so many ethnic cuisine offerings,” she explained.

Presently, the only programs that can match UC’s and Cincinnati State’s emphasis on both the art and science of food development are located in Nebraska and South Carolina.  However, more schools are expected to follow Cincinnati’s lead, according to Meg Galvin, coordinator of the Culinary Arts and Science program.  “More and more schools are going to move toward baccalaureate programs in this field.  There’s such a need for a well-rounded education in the field as more and more products – like all the low-carb products you now see – come to market.  Food trends are accelerating, and the industry really requires a knowledge of science,” she explained.

Galvin added that the students coming through the full course – both the associate degree program at Cincinnati State and UC’s baccalaureate program – would have the necessary preparation to work not only as restaurant chefs but to work for the major food-industry corporations that produce almost all the food on grocers’ shelves.

Those enrolled in the program will be considered students of both UC and Cincinnati State.  Even while working toward an associate degree at Cincinnati State, students will be able to live in UC residence halls. 

For more information about the new Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts and Science program, e-mail the coordinator, Meg Galvin, at margaret.galvin@uc.edu or call 513-569-1627.
   



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