BUSINESS: FRANCIS TUTTLE

 

Written by Melanie Phillips Clemens in the March 2012 Issue

francis tuttleWhether dining in or out, a delicious meal always delights the senses. And the chef behind these indulgences, whether professional or domestic, may have received their training in Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s Culinary Arts program.

Known for their service to the greater Oklahoma City area for almost 30 years, Francis Tuttle continues to excel in its efforts to meet the demand for high-quality career training, enhancement and continuing education and personal interest for adults. The recent expansion of their culinary arts program is an indication of their commitment to excellence. Marc Dunham, director of culinary arts, shared his excitement for the new training facility. "This facility is top-notch in terms of equipment and design. It will be one of the top facilities in the nation available to high school students." Francis Tuttle currently serves six school districts including Edmond, Deer Creek, Crescent, Millwood, Putnam City and Western Heights.

Since the expansion, capacity for students in the culinary arts program has grown from 64 to 160 and ultimately will accommodate 252, proving the local demand for this specialized training. "A year from now we’ll have our first graduating class from this facility. Currently our students receive college credits as well as a serv safe certification and we’re working toward accreditation through the American Culinary Federation. I’ve been with Francis Tuttle for over a year and one of the things I’ve learned is they do a great job of assessing the needs of the industry and they go all out to meet those needs," said Dunham.

‘Going all out’ accurately describes the transition from 5,000 square feet to 31,000 square feet, fully equipped with a teaching restaurant, six instructional kitchens and a demonstration kitchen for visiting chefs. "Right now we operate in two kitchens that are adequate for the programs we’ve had but we’re meeting a bigger demand for culinary training. A lot of intention was put into this building. We hired a kitchen consultant that did a phenomenal job. Within the next three years we’ll add more kitchens as well as pastry and baking programs," said Dunham.

The anticipation for this facility that ‘opened for business’ on February 27 is parallel only to the onsite teaching restaurant, full-service bakery and cafeteria that will open to the public in April or May. "We’ll have a business cafeteria that will function like a school cafeteria but with a chef’s touch on nutritious food," said Dunham.

Francis Tuttle provides rigorous curriculum and state-of-the art equipment and facilities. And their Culinary Arts program offers day and evening classes. It is located at 12777 N. Rockwell. For more information, call 717-4900 or visit www.francistuttle.edu.

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