Students in the Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) culinary science program are taking their creations out of the classroom and into the community. Culinary Science Program Director Matt Russo helped his students plan a menu for the Granville Kiwanis Club. The club sold the menu items Russo and his students came up with during the Granville Independence Day Celebration.
"We needed to upgrade our menu to compete with food trucks and other high-end items being served at the festival," said Mike Birkmeyer with the Granville Kiwanis Club. "We loved the idea of students working on this specific project. After sampling their proposed menu, we decided to serve the Paninis and some side dishes that were recommended."
Birkmeyer approached COTC in March to help with the project. Birkmeyer gave Russo and his students the following parameters to develop the menu:
- Easy to prepare (by non-chefs)
- Freshly prepared, or fresh ingredients
- Great Tasting and would appeal to a broad audience, yet somewhat unique and different from other options
- Able to be prepared quickly
- Has the potential to become "signature" item for Kiwanis
- Options for side dishes
"Chef Russo and his students came back with a full presentation with costs, sources for items, layouts for the tables, variations of items to consider, recipes, etc. It was great," said Birkmeyer.
The culinary science technology program at COTC is designed to provide skills and experiences essential for those who are interested in culinary careers including work in research and development. Graduates of the two-year program earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Science Technology. COTC also offers a one-year certificate program in culinary science. Jobs in culinary and food science are projected to increase through 2016, with graduates finding rewarding careers as chefs, food science technicians, managers, or ingredient and product developers.
Central Ohio Technical College opened in 1971 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2016. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.