Courtesy Tammera Mojica
A firefighter’s fire engine and a paramedic’s ambulance idle out front as the two men exit under the emerald awning with brown bag lunches
The CWI Culinary Arts program is open for lunch at their deli-bakery or in the fine
The brown bag deli and bakery get more visitors than the dining room, mainly because they have ready-made items and it is great for those who are after a quick lunch or a delicious fresh made bakery item.
“The deli-bakery definitely gets more foot traffic because it’s easy to grab and go. Whether it is a cup of soup, a bottled soda, or already made sandwich,” Chef Kelly Steely, Program Chair for Culinary Arts of CWI said.
Although the public is welcome (no CWI student ID card required), many are unaware of this lunch venue. Patrons can enjoy a delicious lunch at a great price while supporting student learning.
Typically those who do venture over come from
“We get some students in here and we get some faculty from BSU and typically they are from buildings across the street from us,” Steely said.
In the fine dining room the students are serving up entrées from a menu which incorporates a theme of chilies, chocolate or coffee. There are six different themes per academic year.
The students take pride and enjoy all the tasks of the culinary arts program.
“I had a hobby of baking and now I want to make a career out of it. It’s all wonderful,” Sean Hull, first year baking and pastry student said.
In the deli the bakery items are a big hit, especially on Fridays when they are buy one get one free.
“Regulars keep us in business and they even come wait outside before we open,” Chef Karen Myers said.
The CWI Culinary Arts program was once a Boise State program.
A few years back the local community voted to have a community college and that’s the basis of what formed CWI.
Selland College of Applied Technology was given to CWI and all it’s 2-year degree or technical programs became CWI programs.
Most programs have moved off campus, except the CWI Culinary Arts program remains on campus and many have wondered why.
The answer is quite simple.
“CWI has not found a new home for us yet,” Steely said.
The CWI Culinary Arts program strives to make their students into chefs who can use their skills and expertise in a high-end restaurant.
Each student has a chance to work from guest relations to working the food line.
“It is important for them to understand how to communicate between the front and back of the house,” Chef Steely said.
The intermediate students must do well with keeping in sync with the cooks.
“If people working the line say we are out of salmon and one of the servers is still trying to sell salmon to people, they are going to immediately feel that stress,” Steely said.
When it comes to the advanced students who are nearing their completion at the culinary arts, the instructors want them to have what
they need to be a chef in the real world.
“For students to think of how clean the flavors need to be on the plate and how elevated the plate presentation needs to be,” Steely said. “To give students as close to an experience as they would get if they were working at a place like Berryhill or the Reef, some place downtown with a fine dining experience.”