INDIANAPOLIS — While the last year has taken a toll on the restaurant industry, some students are finding success through Ivy Tech Community College’s culinary program.
WRTV first introduced viewers to this program a couple of years ago, before the pandemic would change everything. The newsroom first showed you how students from Ivy Tech get hands on experience in the kitchen in Courses Restaurant.
They stir up top-notch food while learning the skills needed to work in the restaurant industry. Ivy Tech offers this experience as part of a two-year certificate program.
Now, Senior Joi Moseley said COVID-19 postponed in-person classes and delayed graduation, but after a brief break from the kitchen, she’s more confident about her passion for cooking.
“Now I’m back, so this is it, I graduate in the summer. So, I’m excited,” said Moseley.
She calls it a natural fit, since childhood, “food and family they kind of go together you can’t really have one without the other,” said Moseley.
Moseley said while it gets hot in the kitchen the students and teachers keep their cool.
“Always there to make sure that you are able to get whatever you need. If you don’t understand something they are there,” said Moseley.
However, during this mid-pandemic, it looks a little different. Face masks and shields protect students, customers, and teachers.
“(Instructors) Make sure you’re safe, but you are also getting the necessary education so this is probably the perfect thing for me,” said Moseley.
Hospitality and Administration Program Department Chair, Jeff Bricker said that resilience reflects the industry. He said, “In the industry, it’s the challenges faced every day. The food safety is always an important part of what we teach and practice, but even more so critical now in the middle of a pandemic.”
The National Restaurant Associations reports that more than 110 thousand eating and drinking places closed temporarily or for good, but 6 in 10 adults say restaurants are an essential part of their lifestyle.
Now it appears this program is boiling up a new wave of persevering cooks, ready to go from classes to a career in the kitchen.
“It’s kind of a pent-up demand for people to go out and eat. And where restaurants are one phase of it for sure, I believe that we will come back and it will be stronger than ever,” said Bricker.
“This is their career choice, and they are here because they really truly love it, and this is what they want to do from a career perspective,” said Bricker.
“At least I’ll have the knowledge and the history in the background to be able to do whatever I want,” said Moseley.
The next set of classes starts in March, but you can apply to enroll now.