Breckenridge CMC invites more cooks in new kitchen |

Breckenridge CMC invites more cooks in new kitchen

Suzie Romig
special to the daily
Special to the Daily/Jim LambKevin Clarke, director of culinary education at Colorado Mountain Collegeis Summit Campus (front, left), discusses with local restaurateurs the design for the under-construction learning kitchen at the college's Breckenridge Center. As part of an ongoing capital campaign for the building, the Summit County and Breckenridge restaurant associations are donating $50,000 in support of the new culinary wing. Those taking the kitchen tour include (from left) restaurateurs Cathy Barton, Bobby Starekow and John Daisy, culinary consultant Doug Schwartz (partially hidden), CMC Summit Campus CEO Alton Scales and restaurateur Dick Carlton.

BRECKENRIDGE ” A week studying Thai food, a short course in preparing a Thanksgiving feast or lessons in perfect pastries ” these are just some examples of cooking classes that locals are salivating for when the new learning kitchen opens at the Colorado Mountain College Summit Campus this summer.

After 15 years of operating a well-respected culinary apprenticeship program in partnership with the kitchens at Keystone Resort, CMC will open its first in-house learning kitchen at the new Breckenridge Center, under construction on Highway 9 just north of town. So in addition to apprentices working toward their associate degrees, other types of culinary enthusiasts can tap into the college’s expertise and facilities.

CMC Culinary Education Director Kevin Clarke said he expects enrollment in the new recreational or non-degree cooking classes to rise quickly.

“As the interest in food, cooking and wine continues to grow because of the popularity of the Food Network and due to the interest in local and sustainable foods, we will be able to step in and provide the culinary training that people have been asking for,” said Clarke, who noted that CMC has another popular culinary arts program at the college’s Vail-Eagle Valley Campus.

Knowing there is a home gourmet in many kitchens, CMC administrators welcome more feedback from the community about what sort of culinary classes locals would like to see. To share cooking class suggestions, contact Clarke at 496-4153 or

Clarke said that as enthusiastic supporters of the college’s culinary program, together the Summit County and Breckenridge restaurant associations have pledged $50,000 toward building the new Breckenridge Center. Current presidents of the restaurant associations are Bobby Starekow (Summit County) and Keith Barton (Breckenridge). Local restaurant operators recently toured the kitchen under construction.

In addition to providing learning space for community members and degree-seeking culinary students, CMC will now have space to offer professional development courses for area restaurant employees and chefs. Other plans include dual-credit courses in culinary arts for area high school students.

The state-of-the-art learning kitchen will include an array of cooking equipment including a pastry deck oven for artisan-style breads, a pastry preparation area, seating areas for students and a demonstration area outfitted with audiovisual equipment to record cooking lessons. Between the kitchen and the large, sunny lobby, the center will house a cyber cafe with Internet access and service of coffee, pastries and light meals.

Summit Campus CEO Alton Scales said construction at the approximately 34,000-square-foot, two-story Breckenridge Center is a month ahead of schedule. Campus officials plan to move into the new facilities during the summer, with classes starting in August.

Scales said the Breckenridge Center also will provide an additional modern laboratory space for science classes, and the center’s 245-seat auditorium will be home to a lecture series for the community.

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