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Florida Technical College Influencer Series Brings Food Network Chef to Campus

Posted on August 8th, 2017 by Florida Technical College

Chef Dawn Viola, winner of Food Network’s Cooks vs. Cons, shared professional and healthy living advice with students at FTC Kissimmee Cooking nutritious recipes with fresh products, free of artificial additives, is the guiding principle of Chef Dawn Viola´s life and business. The Central Florida chef, who won the Food Network’s Cooks Vs. Cons competition earlier this year, recently visited FTC Kissimmee to share professional and healthy living advice with students. “Education is the cornerstone of my success as a professional chef,” Viola said. “Make good use of your time here. Do something that scares you at least once a week. Challenge yourself. It’s a great way to learn about food and about yourself, and to grow.” On July 20, 2017, Viola was the special guest of FTC’s Influencer Series, a monthly event open to all students and the public at large that features business and civic leaders from Central Florida as keynote speakers. She started her cooking career in a rather unconventional way. Ten years ago, while working as a copywriter and a documentary producer, she was diagnosed with severe allergies to a long list of foods. Viola set out to study culinary arts and nutrition for her own survival. What she discovered in the process left her stunned. “We think that the amount of calories in a dish or whether there´s fat in it is very important,” explained the chef. “But the list of ingredients in that dish or product is even more important. If you cannot pronounce half of the ingredients when you start reading the label, put that product back on the shelf. That could be the reason you can’t lose weight or why you have health problems that you can’t explain. ” Chef Peter Vossenberg, FTC´s Director of Hospitality Programs, said that Viola represents the versatility of a culinary arts degree. She is an executive chef with Tupperware, where she develops recipes that can be prepared with Tupperware products. Viola is also a successful entrepreneur. Additionally, her company, This Honest Food, educates and empowers people to eat and live healthier. “A degree in culinary arts has hundreds of applications,” Vossenberg said. “We teach our students to think out of the box, dare to innovate, and do new and different things with the skills they are acquiring. Chef Viola is a testament to the fact that there are many possibilities.” With six campuses statewide, including four campuses in Central Florida, Kissimmee, Deland, Orlando and Lakeland, Florida Technical College offers diploma, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs in various fields, as well as culinary arts. For information about upcoming Influencer Series speakers, follow FTC on Facebook

Florida Technical College Hosts Semifinals of Global Chef Challenge

Posted on July 19th, 2017 by Florida Technical College

Florida Technical College Hosts Semifinals of Global Chef Challenge The winners of the early July competition will go on to represent the Americas next year at the WorldChefs Congress in Malaysia   KISSIMMEE, Fla., July 15, 2017– The knives came out and it was on. Culinary teams representing Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and the United States and other countries, battled it out this weekend at Florida Technical College Kissimmee for the right to represent the Americas in the WorldChefs Congress & Expo 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in France in 1928, WACS is the largest global network of chefs, representing more than 10 million professionals worldwide. The competition to select the representation of the Americas was held in three different categories: Global Chefs, Global Pastry Chefs and the Hans Bueschkens Young Chefs Challenge for chefs 25 and under. The winners are: Global Chef category: Chef Robert Pineda, Colombia Hans Bueschkens Young Chefs Challenge for chefs 25 and under: Shayne McCrady, line and sauté cook at The Gatesworth, in St. Louis, MO Global Pastry Chef: Cher Harris, CEPC, executive pastry chef, Hotel Hershey, Hershey, PA   “We are ecstatic to host such an important culinary event at FTC’s kitchens,” said Chef Peter Vossenberg, Director of Hospitality Programs at Florida Technical College. “It’s a fantastic experience for our students, many of which volunteered to assist during the competition and had the chance to interact and learn from some of the most talented individuals in this industry at global level.” Florida Technical College Kissimmee campus, is also a Regional Chef Training Facility for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1248. FTC is one of only five schools in the United States to currently hold the coveted designation, which will enable students and food preparation professionals to learn from nationally and internationally recognized chefs. At the same time, the campus is the headquarter of The American Culinary Federation Central Florida Chapter Orlando Chef Reimund Pitz, a certified world master who is a Chaîne official, said FTC´s partnerships with the professional culinary groups will enable the school to access top talent for the benefit of its students. “The school is now in a position to tap some truly dedicated professionals and master chefs to come here and hold seminars and training events for its students,” Pitz said. “These partnerships will enrich FTC’s culinary program and take it to the next level.” For additional information about Florida Technical College Culinary Arts and Baking and Pasteleria Diploma Programs call 888-906-5730 or visit www.FTCcollege.edu . About Florida Technical College: FTC offers associate and bachelor’s degrees and diploma programs in a range of professions, including healthcare, computer networking, graphic design, criminal justice, culinary arts and cosmetology.  FTC campuses are located in Orlando, Lakeland, Deland, Kissimmee, Pembroke Pines and Cutler Bay. Founded in 1982 to provide private, post-secondary education in specialized fields.  

Influencer Serie – Road to Success

Posted on June 9th, 2017 by Florida Technical College

Raglan Road Irish Pub Executive Chef, Heberto Segura, to Talk About the Road to Success at Florida Technical College   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                Contact: María Isabel Sanquírico Mobile: 813-420-2922 June 5, 2017 Eleven 11 Communications ORLANDO, FLA. –Heberto Segura, Executive Chef of Raglan Road Irish Pub in Disney Springs, will have a frank conversation with Florida Technical College students about how to grow in the food business and pitfalls to avoid, in June’s Florida Technical College’s Influencer Series. The monthly event, to be held on June 8, brings students and business leaders together to share advice and ideas to foster professional and individual growth. Segura got his start in the business working in the kitchen of a South Florida steak house while pursuing a degree in arts and psychology, which he soon changed to culinary arts. He has since worked in Boca Raton, Las Vegas, New York, St. Maarten and Anguilla with positions ranging from chef and culinary consultant to restaurant developer. He has traveled to Europe and trained with prominent Irish Master Chef Kevin Dundon at the Dunbrody Country House in Wexford, Ireland. “I am passionate about learning,” Segura said. “To stay relevant and competitive in this business, you can’t stop learning and innovating once you get a diploma. I look forward to discussing that with FTC students and to answering all of their questions about how to succeed in this exciting industry.” Restaurants are an intrinsic part of Florida’s vibrant hospitality industry and are an important economic engine that generates $40 billion in sales every year, according to the National Restaurant Association. Restaurants are also a major source of employment in our state, where almost one million jobs are directly linked to the food industry. Many of those jobs are right here in Central Florida, which boasts 5,400 food-serving establishments, making the region a great place to get into the food industry. “There is demand for well-trained and educated food workers in our region and across the state,” stated Gabriel Garces, FTC Kissimmee Executive Director. “We strive to provide students with the best culinary education they can possibly get so they may have the best shot at success in this field. That includes learning about food and the industry in a classroom setting, practicing in an industrial grade kitchen, and entering food and cooking competitions to stay at the top of the game when under pressure.” In addition, FTC’s culinary arts students have a venue for training and development at the school’s Zazón Café. Here, students gain valuable experience in a real restaurant setting. Zazón Café is all about fresh, flavorful ingredients and mouth-watering American and Latin American fare. Chefs and students combine tradition and experience with creativity to offer a unique, exciting culinary experience. Florida Technical College’s Culinary Arts and Baking and Pasteleria diploma programs are accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission, the largest and most important professional organization of chefs and cooks in the nation. About Florida Technical College: FTC offers associate and bachelor’s degrees and diploma programs in a range of professions, including healthcare, computer networking, graphic design, criminal justice, culinary arts, and cosmetology. It was founded in 1982 to provide private, post-secondary education in specialized fields. FTC campuses are located in Orlando, Lakeland, Deland, Kissimmee, Pembroke Pines and Cutler Bay. Program Availability varies by campus location. Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended our program available at www.ftccollege.edu/disclosures.html

The Best Way to Learn Culinary Techniques – for a Career or Home

Posted on January 30th, 2017 by Florida Technical College

If food is your passion, you have probably considered taking cooking classes or even attending and completing a culinary degree or diploma program. Cooking is a hot career and foodies are everywhere. Even if you only want to be a better home cook or learn culinary arts as a hobby, you are not alone. The foodie culture has been growing for years—surveys show there have been steady increases in sales of specialty foods and increased viewership for food and cooking shows.   This growth in food and cooking culture means that more people are trying to figure out how to be better at it. People who love new food experiences don’t just want to go out to new restaurants; they also want to learn how to be better cooks and figure out if they want to become professionals in the culinary arena. If you’re thinking about how best to learn how to cook or how to be a better cook, you have a lot of options. From weekly food and recipe subscription boxes to cooking shows and magazines, the choices abound, but have you thought about a real culinary education? What You Get from a Real Culinary Education Not every cook or chef went to culinary school, and there are many, many great home cooks who are also self-taught. So, why should you spend the time and money on cooking classes? Teaching yourself or learning through a mentor are possible ways to learn how to cook, but these won’t give you everything a real, structured education can give you:   Skills, not just recipes. Being a good cook, and eventually a great cook, takes more than simply being able to follow a recipe. It requires learning skills that make up the foundation for being able to follow a recipe. In classes you learn culinary techniques that you can’t get from a recipe, things like how to julienne vegetables, how to boil pasta the right way, how to debone a fish, and how to measure dry ingredients for baked goods, just to mention a few. A professional vocabulary. You could attempt to julienne those carrots as the recipe directs you, but what if you don’t even know what the word means. Cooking comes with a vocabulary that is totally different from everyday language. With professional cooking classes you will learn what it means to blanch something and what a meringue is. Real kitchen confidence. In so many industries you can fake confidence to seem more competent, but in cooking you actually need to know how to do things. If you can’t deliver, you can’t succeed as a cook or chef, or even convince your family you can put together a great dinner. To get real confidence in the kitchen, confidence that means something, you need to learn how to cook. Life-saving safety training. There are many things in the kitchen that can make you sick or even kill you if you aren’t careful. If you want to get more involved in cooking, you need to know how to do it safely. What you get from a true culinary education that you can’t get from books or TV shows is instruction in how to prevent cross-contamination, how to handle a knife safely, and how to sanitize and disinfect.     Can’t I Just Learn Culinary Techniques Watching Cooking Shows? There are so many cooking and food shows on television now, including more than one network devoted to them. And, yes, these shows can give you some great tips and tricks, but if you don’t have a solid foundation in cooking basics, you will struggle to put them to use. For instance, if your favorite cooking show host tells you to fold the egg whites into your batter instead of mixing it in, do you really know what that means?   What about an Apprenticeship? Some cooks and chefs learn their trade by working their way up the kitchen ladder, usually starting as dishwashers. This is definitely a valid way to become a professional cook, and there are some truly great chefs who learned this way, but it is not the best option for everyone. One downside to learning through an apprenticeship rather than cooking classes is that you have to start at the bottom and you’ll have to prove your dedication and skills to move up from there. Not everyone has the ability to take a low-paying job, especially if you are hoping to learn how to cook as self-improvement rather than for a career.   What You Can Do with a Real Culinary Education When you learn how to cook through a culinary arts program, you get a professional education that can lead to a number of careers as a cook or chef. Cooks work anywhere food is served, from schools to restaurants and hotels. Cooks may also work their way up into the management of any of these types of service areas. By taking cooking classes you put yourself in a position to work as a line or prep cook, a sous chef, a pastry chef, and potentially one day an executive chef in charge of an entire kitchen.   Having learned culinary techniques through a diploma or degree program, you’ll also be prepared for a career that you create yourself. Cooking goes hand-in-hand with entrepreneurship and even freelancing. You could work as a freelance personal chef, or even buy and start up a food truck. Other interesting careers for culinary professionals include recipe tester and developer, food writer or critic, butcher, or a food buyer for an upscale grocery store.   Growth in the Culinary Industry Whatever career in food you choose, you will be entering a growing and exciting industry. People are more interested in food than ever, how to cook, where food comes from, organic foods, vegan foods, and much more. This means that there are more opportunities for anyone with a culinary education than ever before, a growing trend that shows no signs of stopping.   […]