Cura Hospitality, Inc., is offering employee training to increase cooking skill levels and overall culinary awareness through its Cura Culinary College. Financed by Cura and offered free to all employees, the College was created by the company's Culinary Council.
"The goal is to provide a higher level of food and dining service to residents," says President Mitch Possinger.
He also adds that making an educational investment in his people boosts morale so "Cura is able to retain these now highly skilled professionals for the long term."
Held in classroom and kitchen settings at three Cura client or vendor locations, the program encompasses 18 topics such as basic food preparation, working with cooking equipment and the principals of HACCP training and sanitation. Students take a module of four sessions per year. Each session is designed as a one-day course where students focus on four topics.
Students attend lecture classes and also work "hands-on" in the kitchen alongside the Cura chefs and foodservice professionals who are the instructors. Of the 65 employees who enrolled for classes last fall, all but two individuals continued their education.
Graduates of the first year's program will receive a diploma and a special "Cura Hospitality" embroidered chef coat at formal commencements in July. As the program grows, one of Cura's goals will be to help its Culinary College students receive accreditation from culinary schools and institutions towards a formal culinary degree, says Possinger.
Cura, headquartered near Allentown, PA, provides dining services to 59 senior living communities in the mid-Atlantic region, generating annual sales of around $43 million.