Norfolk, VA - Beluga caviar with lobster thermidor served on Rosenthal bone china; just a sampling from the first class menu on Pan Am's inaugural transatlantic jet flights in 1959. That's just one of the many historic documents that hang in the Culinary Institute of Virginia's (CIV) Menu Hall of Fame. Also included is the menu from The French Laundry restaurant with Chef Thomas Keller's signature. Not far down the corridor is a Spago menu courtesy of Wolfgang Puck, along with the carte de jour from Craft restaurant with best wishes from Tom Colicchio of Top Chef fame, and then there's the menu from Les Set Portes restaurant in Barcelona, which has been in operation for 175 years.
"It's amazing to read these menus created by some of the best chefs at the best eating establishments in the world," says Brittany Bowen, earning an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts from ECPI University's Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV). "I think, wow, that could be me one day. The Hall of Fame is a motivator for us. The menu I find the most exciting is from the French Laundry. Thomas Keller is just a phenomenal chef."
Some 57 menus collected and donated from many of the finest restaurants in the U.S., Europe and South America hang in the Menu Hall of Fame. They are framed and artfully arranged along a 180-foot long primary hallway at the heart of the institute. The display not only inspires the appetite - along with a heaping helping of history and fame - the menus are also used as learning tools in CIV's curriculum. Students use them as a frame of reference and inspiration in designing menus, for purchasing and cost courses and creating recipes.
"The culinary instructors often point to presentations, designs or an emphasis that chef's focus on in their menus as examples to learn from," says Bowen, 20, a Yorktown resident. "In English class we are asked to write essays about what we think are the most descriptive and informative menus and why."
Chef Steve Sadowski is Campus Director of Academic Administration at CIV. "The Menu Hall of Fame is used as a reference point and tool in a variety of ways in our classes," Sadowski says. "We include it as part of our general education course classes, incorporating elements and aspects of dining as part of the lesson. This presents subject matter in a way that is relevant to what our students are studying and for their future careers as well."
What began more than five years ago as a novel way to decorate a hall continues to grow as a culinary showcase and instructional resource. "We like to try to turn each moment here into a learning moment," Gladstein says. "In most every menu the students walk by there is a story and an education," says CIV Campus Director Andy Gladstein.
CIV, ECPI University's School of Culinary Arts, offers students a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Food Service Management, as well as an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts for students seeking culinary careers.
For more information or to visit the Menu of Hall of Fame and speak with staff and students, contact Scott McCaskey at Goldman & Associates at: firstname.lastname@example.org or at 757-625-2518. The Culinary Institute of Virginia is located at 2428 Almeda Ave. in Norfolk, VA. The website is: www.chefva.com.
About The Culinary Institute of Virginia
Culinary Institute of Virginia, the School of Culinary Arts at ECPI College of Technology, opened for enrollment in fall 2006. Graduates can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in culinary science in less than two years. The curriculum offers a European educational model that combines classroom instruction with hands-on externships in the community. For information call 757-858-CHEF or visit the Culinary Institute of Virginia
About ECPI University
ECPI University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees and diploma programs. With campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, ECPI, a private university established in 1966, offers convenient classes during the day, evening, and online; graduate employment services are provided. Continuing education certification classes and testing are also available.
ECPI's fields of study include:
- Cloud Computing (Bachelor's Degree)
- Database Programming (Bachelor's Degree)
- Electronics Engineering (Bachelor's Degree)
- Mechanical Engineering Technology (Bachelor's Degree)
- Mechatronics (Bachelor's Degree)
- Network Security (Bachelor's Degree)
BUSINESS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
(Program field availability varies by campus.) For more information, visit http://www.ecpi.edu