college of culinary arts

college of culinary arts

Takin' It to the Streets
Program Culinary Oren Bass Food Truck

Propelled by the immediacy of social media marketing and the low overhead of fashioning meals on the move, fleets of food trucks are congregating in cities across the nation with crowds queued up for everything from Korean tacos to bacon-bulging cupcakes.

Bruce Ozga ’92, dean of culinary education at the North Miami Campus, where venders congregate weekly, sheds light on the phenomenon. Expenses for truck businesses are lower than those for established restaurants, he says, and if one location isn’t busy, owners can shift gears to another. In the mix, the movement is elevating the level of culinary-offerings-to-go from typical fast food to casual gourmet, he adds, with local alumni as evidence. Oren Bass ’10 and Zachary Schwartz ’08 run Slow Food Truck, frequenting the Biscayne Triangle Round-up every Tuesday night, just across the street from JWU’s North Miami Campus. For their signature items like beef short rib sandwiches, they braise the meat for three to four hours. In September, the truck placed in the Top 10 in Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race” hosted by Tyler Florence ’94, ’04 Hon.

Another Triangle purveyor is gastroPod, run by Jeremiah Echeandia ’98, whose menu includes lambfennel sliders, watermelon salad and red curry duck tacos.

Will Gilson ’04, owner of Garden at the Cellar restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., runs The Eat Wagon in and around Boston with partner Aaron Cohen. They sell gourmet hot dogs, tacos and burgers made with grass-fed beef.

Scott Sopher ’99, who parks his Nosh Truck in and around Bonita Springs, Fla., says, “The truck allows me to be creative on a casual level.” His best-selling item is blackened mahi mahi tacos with mango salsa. So far business couldn’t be better. “One of my busiest nights, I served 120 people in two hours, by myself. I was cooking, serving and taking the money,” says Sopher.
Online >!/eatwagon;!/gastropodmiami;!/noshtruck;!/SlowFoodTruck

JWU Culinary Alumni Sadruddin AbdullahCouple Makes Perfect Pairing
Sadruddin Abdullah ’00, ’04 MBA had held many jobs, from dog trainer and fitness instructor to construction and railroad worker. But when, at 42, he met Chef Claude “Frenchy” Monque, a pastry chef who taught him the art of sugar, Abdullah was hooked.

After earning an associate degree in culinary arts at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, he and his wife, Mahmuda Abdullah ’04, moved to Providence, RI, to attend JWU. Sadruddin earned a BS in baking and pastry and an MBA in global business management. Mahmuda earned degrees in culinary arts, baking and pastry and food service management. Sadruddin later taught baking and pastry at both the Providence and Charlotte campuses.

In 2009 the pair launched Dessert Specialists in Charlotte, making and selling handmade pastries and chocolates. The couple hosts tastings, pairing wine with ganache-filled chocolates handcrafted to complement each wine’s flavor. The menu includes three different wines, three different chocolates for each wine, and a slice of The Mudslide — “adult” cake laced with Bailey’s Irish Cream, vodka and Kahlúa, with a cup of coffee and Kahlúa to finish.

Being a pastry chef isn’t just another job for Sadruddin. He is a renowned sugar expert and the only two-time winner of the National Bread & Pastry Team Championship — in 2004 with Chef Ciril Hitz, chair of the International Baking & Pastry Institute on the Providence Campus, and in 2008 with Chef Harry Peemoeller, a senior instructor on the Charlotte Campus. He took second place on “The Food Network Challenge Pastry Daredevils” with his sugar sculpture of a Pegasus fighting a dragon, and was a finalist in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 PatisFrance.
website >

JWU Dr. Bowen and Kathleen HarneyEducational Spirit
University Chancellor John Bowen ’77, here with his wife, Kathleen Harney, executive director of university event standards and protocol, holds the Society of Wine Educators Grand Award for his and the university’s contribution to elevating the level of wine and spirits in higher education and preparing future industry leaders for successful careers. The award was presented during SWE’s 35th Annual Conference in August, held partly at the Providence Campus.

quick take:culinary
Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence on JWU’s Providence Campus was recognized with three awards in 2011: LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council; Best Education Design Award from International Interior Design Associations of New England; and a silver 2011 Brick in Architecture Award from The Brick Industry Association, in the education category.