SUNY ADK Culinary Arts Program is ready for the Fall despite COVID concerns
When I went to culinary school there was no pandemic, and it was hard enough under those good conditions. So when COVID hit I tried to envision what the effect would be, and to that end, I had a conversation with Chef Matt Bolton of the SUNY Adirondack Culinary Arts Program. Chef Bolton is a graduate of the program, has won multiple awards in his field, and after acting as both Sous Chef, and Executive Chef at the now legendary Friend’s Lake Inn, he is leading the culinary program at SUNY Adirondack.
Rhonda Triller, Asst. Director of Enrollment Communications explained that while there were 74 students enrolled in the program last year, there were 56 students enrolled at the time this was written, and this former culinary student can say from experience that with five weeks to go, the numbers will probably meet or exceed last year’s number.
“The industry needs well-trained people today more than ever,” said Bolton. “And with 100% placement on graduation, this is a great place to get that training.”
“At SUNY Adirondack we are planning on doing remote lectures and written assignments on Zoom and Blackboard with in-person kitchen labs during the upcoming semester. The labs will be at 50% capacity for social distancing and masks will be required. Our student-run restaurant Seasoned will be operating at limited capacity to provide a safe experience for students, faculty, and guests Wednesdays and Thursdays. We are committed to incorporating how the pandemic has and is shaping our foodservice industry so students are prepared for whatever the workforce looks like upon graduation. “Chef Matt Bolton
The program itself is impressive, in addition to the usual classes and labs, their restaurant, “Seasoned” is open to the public, and enjoying a real run of popularity in Glens Falls. Located at 14 Hudson Street the restaurant features lunch on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with dinner on both days as well. Wednesdays dinner has the Advanced Food Prep I students at the helm, under Bolton’s watchful eye, four courses with seating starting at 5:45. In addition to soda, tea, and coffee, there is a cash bar featuring beer and wines. The bar is featured on Wednesday night dinners as a Chef’s Pairing 4 Course Prix Fixe offering for $26.95, add $18.00 for the beer or wine pairing. Children’s pricing is available. “Seasoned” will be the subject of a review here (on Nippertown) this fall.
There is also a Bake Shop available to the public, the offerings vary with the student production that day.
“We utilize all local produce, dairy, eggs, and meat. We use all local farmers and also our very own Sustainable Agriculture Program who grows most of our produce on the main campus outdoors and in greenhouses. Our program also composts for our college gardens. “ Chef Matt Bolton
During this time of health concerns and new rules for dining that seem to change daily, SUNY Adirondack has been not only light on their feet but dedicated to providing quality education to the next generation of great chefs. I look forward to writing more about this stellar program in the future. In the meantime, if I were you, I’d make my reservations early.