ORDER UP: UNA CULINARY ARTS COMMERCIAL KITCHEN IS COMPLETE
November 14, 2008
By Shayla Pearsall
UNA Student Writer
FLORENCE, Ala. — Renovations on the University of North Alabama’s new culinary arts facility has been completed. Culinary students have been using the commercial kitchen for only a couple of weeks, but the program was in progress long before that.
“This process started with a dream, a vision, about a decade ago, but it was in the last year or two that the department started getting the curriculum written and approved through the Alabama Commission of Higher Education,” said Jane Wilson, chair of the Department of Human Environmental Sciences.
The university’s administration and the board of trustees funded the program, and construction on the commercial kitchen began this summer.
“We have a wonderful partner, Hobart Corporation, that helped us get the commercial equipment,” Wilson said.
Hobart Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of food equipment and service for the foodservice and food retail industries.
During the construction process of the commercial kitchen, culinary classes were able to proceed normally.
“We’ve been teaching these classes this semester. The First United Methodist Church made available their commercial kitchen until ours was finished so that our students could do their lab work,” Wilson said.
The culinary arts program at UNA is the state’s only four-year degree program in culinary arts.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for the 27-plus high school culinary programs throughout the state. It also provides students in the various two-year programs an opportunity to complete a baccalaureate degree in the culinary field,” Wilson said.
The program currently has 24 students enrolled. These students will be under the instruction of Chef Johnson Ogun, from industry by way of education in Kentucky. Ogun is originally from Africa.
The program is housed at UNA’s East Campus. The department plans to eventually complete phase two, which includes renovation of a demonstration area, a student dining area, classrooms and administrative space at the East Campus facility.
Alumni, students and friends of the university interested in viewing the facility and touring the UNA East Campus may attend an open house Dec. 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact the Department of Human Environmental Sciences at 256-765-4313 or email@example.com.