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Kitchen Closed: USU Eliminating Culinary Arts Degree

Kitchen Closed: USU Eliminating Culinary Arts Degree



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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- The state's only four-year culinary arts-food service management program is being phased out at Utah State University.

The program was designed for aspiring chefs and food service managers, but it was unable to get the necessary money for two more faculty members and an expanded kitchen, said Charles Carpenter, chairman of the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.

John Simpson, the program's only instructor, said it's been a difficult emphasis in the Cache Valley, where chain restaurants dominate and there are few chef-owned and -operated restaurants.

"It's hard to bring in a good chef-instructor," Simpson said. "Part of the problem is the demographics here. It's not a big enough valley."

Simpson began teaching at USU five years ago. He owns Culinary Concepts, a catering service, and previously owned the Blue Sage restaurant.

The inadequate funding meant that the program, which includes classes in business, marketing and cooking, was unable to make the required improvements for accreditation, Carpenter said.

Carpenter also said department members felt that culinary arts was not necessarily a good choice for the university because of absence of a research component. The department has a research mission in other areas of concentration such as dietetics, food science and nutrition.

The nine students enrolled in the program will be able to complete their degrees with classes offered until 2009, he said.

Several Utah schools offer two-year degrees in culinary arts, but USU has the only bachelor's degree program.

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Information from: The Daily Herald

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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