Recently Arrived Puerto Ricans May Benefit from Culinary Arts Program Taught in Spanish

By: Florida Technical College

Florida authorities estimate that around 30,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to the Sunshine State since Hurricane Maria hit the island. The lingering question is whether they’ll find jobs.

Careers in Culinary- FTCFlorida Technical College President, James Burkett, PhD, is betting on that they will. He is convinced that the Florida economy is healthy enough to incorporate the newcomers, and is gearing up to offer them career guidance. As a first step, the school is launching a Culinary Arts diploma program fully taught in Spanish. Registration is now open for the program’s start date of Nov. 27. It will be available at the Kissimmee campus.

“Our goal is to help them make a transition and learn new skills to prepare them for a career in Florida,” Burkett said. “In doing research on employment opportunities we found that there is a critical shortage of culinary workers, especially in Central Florida. Being a Spanish speaker is not a limitation for finding employment in this industry. These things combined led us to develop a program to meet the needs of those transitioning to Florida.”

Chef Abdiel Laboy, one of the Florida Technical College instructors who will be teaching the 13-month program, said the initiative has no down sides.

“We can help people resolve their need for employment while meeting a critical need that employers have throughout the state,” Laboy said. “It’s truly a win-win situation.”

Currently, no other colleges in Central Florida have a Spanish-language culinary arts program, Laboy said. The Culinary Arts Diploma program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary federation Education Foundation. It covers the creative and business aspects of the culinary profession with subjects like nutrition and sanitation, international cuisine, culinary techniques, facility and menu planning, and food and beverage cost control. The first 11 months will be a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on labs in a modern, commercial grade kitchen, as well as training and development at Zazón Café, a restaurant ran by students and instructors adjacent to the school. The program concludes with a 2-month externship.

Chef Laboy quipped that Spanish is the official language of many of Florida’s commercial kitchens.

“It is Latinos who put the sazón (seasoning) into what is being prepared in many of America’s restaurants,” he said. “We speak English too, but we like to communicate in Spanish when we are in the kitchen, perhaps because we feel it conveys our passion for food better.”

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.

¿Qué se aprende en un programa de artes culinarias?

La larga lista de temas va desde las técnicas culinarias básicas hasta la organización de la cocina y las prácticas de saneamiento. Usted abordará una amplia variedad de material que le prepara para seguir una especialización y perseguir sus intereses.

En un programa de artes culinarias, se aprende todo lo que se necesita para iniciar su carrera como un chef integral. Esto incluye:

Diferentes tipos de corte de cuchillo para la preparación de alimentos.

  • Cómo preparar caldos y salsas madre.
  • Elaboración de pescados y aves.
  • Garde manger (preparación de alimentos en frío).
  • Decoración de panadería y pastelería.
  • Normas de sanidad alimentaria.
  • Preparación y organización de la cocina.
  • Gestión de inventarios de alimentos y bebidas.
  • Supervisión de hostelería y servicios de restaurante.
  • Cocina internacional y planificación de menús.

Además de la enseñanza impartida por profesionales del sector con años de experiencia, también participarás en una práctica culinaria externa del sur de Miami. Esto le permite aplicar lo que ha aprendido en una cocina real, mientras que la obtención de una valiosa experiencia para construir su hoja de vida. Cuando finalice el curso, estará preparado para entrar en la fuerza de trabajo a un nivel superior.

Program Description

The Culinary Arts Diploma Program offers college students the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to obtain an entry-level position in the field. Florida Technical College students will gain hands-on knowledge of sauces, meats, and baked products. In addition, they will learn about kitchen safety and sanitation techniques to ensure food safety. Finally, they will cover management and supervision in the food service industry.
Ready to move from the classroom to a career? Florida Technical College is here to help. The Culinary Arts program is offered at the Kissimmee and South Miami campuses. Contact us to learn more about completing the diploma program at Florida Technical College.

*These examples are intended to serve as a general guide. There are various factors that determine what occupation an individual can achieve and NUC University cannot guarantee its graduates a specific job position. Some positions may require licensing or other certifications. We encourage you to investigate the requirements for your job and your career goals.