Experimental College expands options with new culinary-focused courses

Beginning in January, two innovative culinary-focused courses will be available through the Center for Extended Learning’s new department, the Experimental College.

Food Business Incubator course will teach participants the fundamentals of starting a food business, covering essential elements such as concept development, licensing and permitting processes, branding and marketing, negotiating leases, designing and constructing spaces, and much more. At the end of the course, students will pitch their professional business plans to industry experts, gaining valuable advice and possibly an investment.

The second course, Introduction to Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie will introduce students to both soft and hard cheeses, as well as fermented, cured and smoked charcuterie. Students will explore the history and process of fermentation sciences as they apply to cheese and charcuterie. The course has been developed over two years by Culinary Arts Associate Dean Linda Chauncey, who championed the course as a way to incorporate a cheese curriculum into the program.

Stephanie Delaney, dean of the Center for Extended Learning, established the Experimental College in order to offer customized courses that don’t fit the official department schedule and which are designed to promote student engagement, respond to job market trends and capitalize on the creativity of instructors. If an Experimental College course finds success, it may be offered on a permanent basis.

The Experimental College’s Interim Director Lisa Babinec notes, “We look at emerging trends and needs in the workforce and community. With so many new food establishments cropping up in the Northwest, especially in Capitol Hill, there seems to be a real need for these types of courses.”

The Food Business Incubator and Introduction to Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie are the second and third courses offered by the Experimental College. The first course, College: 101, was offered in cooperation with Mainstay and sponsored by Supported Academic and Individual Life Services (SAILS). The Experimental College also plans to offer classes on crafting holiday drinks in December. For more information, please email Lisa Babinec who will add you to the mailing list for upcoming courses.