By Laura Parral and Erik Luna
Construction on East Los Angeles College new Campus Student Center, which will be equipped with a cafeteria, started last year during the Fall 2012 semester. Administrators are still planning on how the food services will be handled.
Los Angeles Trade Tech College, Los Angeles Mission College and Los Angeles Harbor College all have culinary arts programs.
Mission is completing their 20 years with their culinary arts institute and LATTC’s culinary arts program has been around for 87 years.
“Trade tech is the oldest continuing culinary arts program in the nation,” department chair for LATTC’s culinary arts program Steven Kasmar said. “Many of our students are working before they leave. We have students working at hotels and LAX (and) … many recruiters come in to recruit our students.”
According to the Work Environment Committee’s last reports, if ELAC starts a culinary arts program, the students will play a role in the food service of the cafeteria. It’s unknown how big of a role will take place.
Department chair of professional studies/culinary arts institute for Mission Louis Zandalasini says that the decision to create a culinary arts program is a tough, but popular task.
“It’s an upcoming trend for colleges to develop their own culinary arts programs. It’s becoming quite popular,” Zandalasini said. “There are many other aspects not just cooking, catering and management also play a hand in it – it’s very business oriented.”
Although the Campus Student Center at ELAC is not finished, the plans have been set for the cafeteria.
Director of College Facilities Tom Furukawa said the cafeteria will be ready next year, along with the new bookstore, student government office and a convenience store. The 6,000 square foot cafeteria will have a maximum occupation of 400 people and will have indoor and outdoor tables for students to eat.
Kasmar also said that LATTC culinary arts students prepare and serve all the food in the cafeteria as part of their culinary arts class. “We incorporate the class curriculum in the menu we serve at school,” Kasmar said. “Last week we did a lot with fish. We worked with tempura and halibut, so the curriculum was also reflected on the menu for that week.”
Patricia Williams, a student at ELAC, believes that it is a good idea for students to work in the cafeteria as part of a class and get paid.
“It is an alternative way for them to fill their classes or if they need extra money,” Williams said.“(There will be) A better option of food, and it will be better for when there is bad weather as well,” Williams said.
According to Furukawa, the cafeteria will also provide a place for students to sit and congregate, which is something that ELAC is lacking.