Dona Ana Community College’s Premier Culinary Institute of New Mexico is gaining recognition for its gluten-free apple pie and the culinary talents of its professional culinary students. In an interview with Chef Tom Drake, the institute’s achievements and the career paths of its graduates were highlighted.

Chef Tom Drake expressed his satisfaction with the culinary creations of his students, emphasizing the exceptional quality of their food. The program at Dona Ana Community College has opened doors to promising careers for its graduates, with success stories ranging from working at prestigious establishments to opening their own businesses. Graduates have found opportunities at Disney World, Facebook in Austin, Texas, and various locations across the United States, including Hawaii and Colorado ski resorts.

The two-year program at Dona Ana Community College offers a comprehensive culinary education. Students undergo core classes and elective courses that prepare them for the industry. In their final semester, they gain practical experience by managing the institute’s kitchen, showcasing their skills in table service and running a three-course meal.

Chef Tom Drake emphasized the importance of time management in the culinary world. The students learn to value and effectively utilize time, ensuring precise coordination between stations and delivering impeccable service. Additionally, students are trained in various roles within the kitchen, including the role of the sous chef, which involves being an understudy to the head chef and managing the kitchen in their absence.

Safety is paramount in the culinary environment, given the presence of knives and hot items. To promote effective communication and prevent accidents, the institute teaches kitchen communication skills, employing a callback system where chefs acknowledge each other’s messages.

While deliciousness remains the ultimate goal, Chef Tom Drake shared insights into the grading process, which focuses on flavor development. Students are challenged to create flavors that cater to a wide range of palates while understanding that simplicity often yields the best results.

To learn more about the culinary program at Dona Ana Community College, visit their official website for additional information.

Overall, the Premier Culinary Institute at Dona Ana Community College stands out for its commitment to excellence, producing talented culinary professionals who excel in their careers and delight the taste buds of their patrons.