Clockwise from the top: Chef Scott Boberek, Chef Yu Yamamoto and Chef Houman Gohary and Laurie Moldawer/Park City Culinary Institute Director visit Copper
Clockwise from the top: Chef Scott Boberek, Chef Yu Yamamoto and Chef Houman Gohary and Laurie Moldawer/Park City Culinary Institute Director visit Copper Moose Farms where institute students will harvest their own produce for dishes they will create. The state now recognizes the Park City Culinary Institute as a professional cooking school. (Photo by Katherine Eldridge)
There have been some major changes with the Park City Culinary Institute. It is no longer a recreational organization, said director and founder Laurie Moldawer.

"The state has registered us and is now allowing us to issue professional certificates for the culinary arts," Moldawer said during an interview with The Park Record. "We are now a full-fledged school."

That means the institute, which is located at the Deer Valley Club, 7720 Royal St. East, at Silver Lake Village, has the ability to issue degrees, diplomas and other educational certificates.

"For now, our plan is to offer a program that is about two-months long, which is shorter and more affordable than other culinary school classes," Moldawer explained. "However, the program will be intense enough that the students will cover all the fundamentals they would need to have a career in the culinary arts, or a to be a great home cook."

One big difference is the people who will sign up for the new program will be more dedicated to the culinary arts, she said.

"When we opened the school for recreational classes, we couldn't get as in-depth to the skills that I wanted to," she said. "It was difficult to get recreational students to fillet a fish. We would have a fish-filleting class, but only two people out of the class wanted to do the filleting."

Now, those accepted into the program will, among other things, learn knife skills at a professional level and learn how to butcher and fillet.


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Most of the classes will be only offered to students who submitted applications.

"We just started our enrollment, and it is also different than what we did before, because we won't be able to accept everyone who applies," Moldawer said.

One of the big changes in criteria is that applicants need to either have a high-school diploma or GED and be at least the age of 18.

"The application features some essay questions and questions regarding the applicants' backgrounds, goals and what education they have completed so far," Moldawer said. "We will review the applications and will select about 14 people for the first class that will start on Sept. 22 and finish on Nov. 14."

The application is available on the institute's website at parkcityculinaryinstitute.com or pcculinary.com. Or applications can be obtained by calling Moldawer at 435-659-5075

There is a $50 application fee.

"If more than 14 people apply, we may open a second session in the evening during the same period or immediately following the first session," she said.

The school is also trying to become as sustainable as it can by using local providers as much as possible.

"For the first program, we will pick our own produce at Copper Moose Farm at the beginning of each week," Moldawer said. "Daisy Fair, who specializes in organic farming, will not only give us exclusive access to her crops at Copper Moose Farm, but also teach us her techniques that bring out the flavor of the food she grows.

"We plan to use ingredients that have more flavor," Moldawer said. "We'll talk about where we can get those ingredients and we will talk with the producers, artisans, ranchers and farmers who are here in the area. And as we start running the classes year-round, we will have access to all the different foods that can be found in the different seasons."

The general public will still be able to come and audit a class, meaning they can come and sit in on a demonstration put on by a professional during the month-long course, Moldawer said. "We're only going to open up the demonstrations to the public for audit, and not the classes that are called the practical sessions."

A practical session consists of students recreating a dish that a chef has prepared.

"Practical sessions will only be open to those who have been accepted into the school and who want continuing education credits," Moldawer said. "For example, if a chef wants his staff to have more training, they can call me up and we can open up those classes to people who are workers in the industry for audit."

The main thing is that auditors will only be able to watch the chef prepare and cook.

"In the past, people would call me up and say they were coming to Park City for vacation in May and would like to attend a cooking class," Moldawer said. "Sometimes we wouldn't have enough people to fill that class, so we couldn't hold it. Plus, I had to charge a lot more. So the changes had to be made."

The goal now is to run the professional classes as many days in the year as possible to help accommodate auditors.

"So if people are in town in the middle of September, they can sit in as many classes as they want," Moldawer said. "It will be a lot cheaper. Instead of $125 to sit in on a class, it will only be $50."

All the classes will run Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. with a break for lunch.

"We are leaving Friday and the weekends open so people can have the opportunity to get internships and externships at various eateries," Moldawer said. "There are a number of these available in town, so if a student is interested in a certain type of cuisine or wants to work a certain restaurant, we would work with them to get an internship, based on the needs of the restaurants during that time period."

In addition, the Park City Culinary Institute will offer career counseling.

"We will work with people individually and show them how to write a resume, apply for a job and do our best to give them the best advantage they can have," Moldawer said.

Another development will be to offer a separate program for drinks.

"We will offer wine, possibly whiskey and beer education to the Park City Culinary Institute students," she said. "The Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is discussing the rules right now and the way it looks like it's heading is that people under the age of 21 can sit in a wine-education class as long as they aren't participating in tastings."

Moldawer conceived the idea for the Park City Culinary Institute after attending Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, for six months.

"When I was in Paris, I also did an internship at a Michelin-starred restaurant and it was amazing," she said. "I was a work-study student and worked at Cordon Bleu during the day and help the chefs and attended the classes and worked at the restaurant at night."

That meant she was up and going from 8 a.m. until midnight every day.

"Although the internship wasn't paid, it was a great training experience for me," Moldawer said. "I loved it and I found out a good idea of what works and didn't work. So that's why I'm excited about the new developments with the Park City Culinary Institute."

The Park City Culinary Institute is currently accepting applications for its fall session that will run Sept. 22 through Nov. 14. For applications, visit parkcityculinaryinstitute.com or pcculinary.com or call 435-659-5075.