The Center for Hospitality and Sport Management will welcome back Philadelphia’s James Beard Award-winning chef Marc Vetri to teach this winter term.
In the class, CULA 400: “Directed Studies with a Master Chef,” Vetri, a seasoned restaurateur, cookbook author and philanthropist, will help train the next generation of talented, young chefs. The class includes lectures, panel discussions, demonstrations, hands-on cooking, field-trips and staging, in order to give students the closest possible view of the insight and knowledge of one of the world’s top chefs—both from a culinary and a business perspective.
The goals are for the master chef class series to give these established chefs an opportunity to teach the skills they always wish aspiring cooks had learned in culinary school. It also affords them the chance to identify talent for potential hiring in the future and, in Vetri’s case, to give back to his alma mater by raising the quality, visibility and professionalism of the program.
The class will admit just 16 students who will learn about food, the food industry and the skills they’ll need beyond the classroom — or in this case, the fully operational kitchens on the sixth floor of the Paul Peck Problem Solving and Research Center.
Vetri has instructed in Drexel’s Culinary Arts and Science program for several years. Last winter he taught a special topics course called “Wheat Lab” where students tackled matters of in-house milling, heirloom grain varietals, food policy and sustainability and applied baking techniques. Specific topics included cultivation and history of wheat, functionality of wheat in pasta, bread and various doughs and milling of wheat. Students created, cooked and baked wheat-based products under the direction of Vetri, and his head baker Claire McWilliams.
In addition to his role as instructor, Vetri Community Partnership, Vetri’s non-profit organization, and Drexel’s Culinary Arts and Food Science and Hospitality Management programs recently collaborated on the opening of the EAT Café—short for “Everyone At the Table”—the city’s first pay-as-you can restaurant.
“Marc Vetri teaches our students to learn, grow and understand food on a level that continues to inspire, even after the course has ended, ” said Rosemary Trout, head of Drexel’s Culinary Arts & Food Science and Hospitality Management programs. “It is this kind of experiential and innovative partnership that allows students to gain the invaluable skills and enviable network that sets them apart. Vetri is a great example of the types of mentorship that allows students to grow into their profession with a confidence and creativity that is unmatched in other culinary programs.”
The Department of Culinary Arts & Food Science is frequently brings celebrity chefs and food professionals to the classroom. Students learn from distinguished adjuncts including chef Jim Burke and food writer Craig LaBan—providing a real-world element to their culinary education.