Office of University Communications & Marketing

Culinary Arts Student Produces UNA Cookbook to Raise Funds for Department
Dec. 9, 2011



FLORENCE, Ala. – Ashley Whitehead, a culinary arts major and aspiring bakery owner, wanted to do something unique with her honors capstone project to graduate at the University of North Alabama. With the help of her instructor, she set out to create a student cookbook to fulfill her graduation requirements and to benefit the department.

President of the Culinary Arts Club, Whitehead collaborated with Chef Johnson Ogun, assistant professor and director of culinary facilities, in August to begin producing the department’s first-ever cookbook. She said the cookbook consists of more than 200 original recipes that inspired UNA students to enter the field of culinary arts.

“This (cookbook) will help students leave their legacy,” Whitehead said. “Since it’s the department’s first cookbook, it will leave a piece of history for the Culinary Arts program and also for the university.”

Although the cookbook will not be back from the printer until January or early February, the department has already sold approximately 150 copies of the cookbook to people on and off campus who anticipate its release. Whitehead said the new cookbook is distinct from others because it will be in a padded three-ring binder instead of being bound by plastic binding.

The cookbook includes eight basic categories for cooking, including appetizers, beverages, desserts, main dishes, vegetables and more. Whitehead said the cookbook will be a mixture of fine dining and home cooking in an easy-to-understand format.

“People should purchase this cookbook to support us because the program is going to use the funding to buy new equipment for our kitchen and for us to participate in competitions in the future to help further our educations,” she said.

Whitehead, of Florence, graduated from Rogers High School in 2008 and plans to finish her degree in human environmental science with an emphasis in culinary arts from UNA in May of 2012. She said her specialty is cake baking and she hopes to someday own a bakery of her own.

The cookbook is a task Whitehead has chosen to complete through the UNA Honor’s Program. She said the capstone project is a culmination of everything she has learned through her program of study at the university. Whitehead plans to organize a cooking demonstration in the spring to celebrate the project release, and is working to design a website to accompany the cookbook as well.

For more information about how to purchase or to learn more about the cookbook, contact Joan Smith, administrative assistant with the Department of Human Environmental Sciences, at 256-765-4313 or e-mail jmsmith@una.edu.