A Wisconsin Technical College is welcoming students back from winter break with a state of the art kitchen. The Fox Valley Technical College claims fame as the state's largest cooking school.
Fox Valley Technical College claims to place 97 percent of its food related graduates in jobs. Chef Jeff Igel is the department chair for Culinary Arts and Hospitality.
"We're big," he says. "We're 300 students strong. We're the largest culinary program in the state of Wisconsin. What can we do to, you know, make this happen at the college."
The brand new 120 seat kitchen theater is equipped with cameras and monitors, sleek appliances, and raised seating to give students in the back row a "birds eye" view of food preparation techniques. It is the only one of its kind in Wisconsin.
Students at FVTC recieve an associates degree after two years study. Igel says they don't earn the appellation of "chef," but will leave as a good "cook." He says the degree gives entry to a number of jobs.
"Only about half of our students have a desire to work in restaurants," he says. "The other half would like to do things like work with food sales, brokerages, representing food, food technology, nutrition. Some go into clubs. We have two associates degrees. We have culinary arts we have hotel and restaurant management."
Igel says most of FVTC's culinary students come from Northeastern Wisconsin. But he adds that the school is building a reputation and is drawing more students from central Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.