Miami Dade College: MDC Launches Culinary Institute

Member Spotlight

With Miami's emerging culinary scene—one known for fusing a mélange of cultures and tastes into bold and unique creations—comes the need for the training and education of the people conceptualizing and serving up the newest and latest dishes. And with a 50-year history of working with industry and setting the bar for corporate training and development, Miami Dade College (MDC) is again stepping in to ensure an industry has a steady pool of qualified and highly trained employees with the launch of its Miami Culinary Institute.

The Miami Culinary Institute is anchored by three main components: a 64-credit Associate in Science in Culinary Arts degree, continuing education for culinary professionals, and an education program for food enthusiasts. Courses, programs and even the building will be rooted in sustainability and eco-culinary approaches, where students will work closely with local farmers, suppliers, chefs, and others to learn the business from the ground up. This revolutionary approach to culinary education, which includes heavy focus on sustainable, local, reusable, and reclaimed resources, is unlike any culinary program the region has ever seen.

MDC recently celebrated the Institute's official opening with a ceremony made all the more special by the presence of the Chef's Council. The Chef's Council serves as the eyes, ears, and voice of the professional culinary world to ensure that the curriculum is infused with all the ingredients and expertise to meet and exceed the needs of the food and beverage industry. Chefs on the council will help create the culinary vision of the Institute by weighing in on the latest culinary and food culture trends, connecting the school to local farmers and restaurateurs, and offering ever-evolving techniques in culinary innovation. Through them, students will gain progressive, real-world knowledge and realistic expectations as they enter the workforce. Members of the distinguished council include renowned chefs Michelle Bernstein, Cindy Hutson, Douglas Rodriguez, Philippe Ruiz, Michael Schwartz, Rudi Sodamin, Allen Susser, and Norman Van Aken.

The new building, for which the college will seek LEED certification and which is currently tracking Gold, will feature general kitchen labs, a baking lab, an organic lab, a food and beverage theatre, a first-floor bakery and café, an 80-seat restaurant, and other amenities to enrich the students' experience and the community's involvement.

The Miami Culinary Institute at MDC is the only public option offering a curriculum steeped in sustainability and innovation for driven individuals in South Florida and beyond who are passionate about food, people, and the planet at a time when fresh thinking can change the world.