Annual Johnson and Wales University Tour: the Culinary School

While many seniors have been visiting potential campuses for the past year, no school has looked like this. Students left with a mixture of awe and admiration once they learned witnessed the work and dedication it takes to become a chef–or anyone any professional in the culinary world.

When presented with a day off from school, I jumped at the opportunity not really knowing what I was getting myself into. However, the experience was surprisingly rewarding! We got a tour of the school, however, what made it different from other college tours is the fact that the school seems so interactive. We did see a few normal classrooms but then we walked to the Culinary Center for Culinary Excellence building and all the “classrooms” turned into kitchens. Every student we saw was either taking notes on what their Chef was telling them or doing the cooking themselves. We also had the opportunity to watch a class practice serving dishes, which was interesting because you don’t necessarily think about the proper way to serve dishes at a restaurant. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think to myself a few times on the tour about pursuing a future in the culinary arts. Over all it was a super fun day! —Emma Kerr ‘20

Today, twelve members of the Jonathan D. Sellitto Culinary Arts Club ’01 were granted the opportunity to explore Johnson and Wales University’s culinary school. We were given a brief admissions overview and then saw the campus. Before diving into the culinary school and viewing many classes in session, our tour guide showcased student resources and academic offices allowing us to understand that the institution is also a comprehensive university. Following the tour, we went to the 4-level culinary arts building. Every class we saw was engaged and attentively taking notes on demonstrations or fervently cooking. My favorite class we saw was the cold food specific kitchen where students were making sausages and prepping for the meal of the day. Every student looked genuinely excited to be there and the energy exuding from the room was contagious. Prior to seeing students in the class and understanding the intricacy of multiple courses, I was wary of the intensity of culinary school and value of the education. However, food is what everyone turns to for tradition and comfort. Without good food, many of my family traditions and memories wouldn’t be the same. The profession is an art, and I am grateful for the opportunity to gain understanding of how hard a chef must work to be there. —Maddie Knudsen ‘20

Departing from Portsmouth Abbey on January 14th, the Jonathan D. Sellitto Culinary Arts Club ’01 took a field trip to Johnson and Wales University to visit their culinary buildings, see what classes are like, and what they have to offer culinary students. We began our day with a tour given by a senior at the university. She took us through three buildings; we began walking through a building that contained a food shop and some informational desks where any question you have can be answered. If you continue walking you’ll reach their culinary museum, filled with antique kitchen equipment, old diner settings, bar settings, and more antique things that make you think you are walking through time in the world of culinary. On the way to look at what their typical classroom looks like, we passed it we got a glimpse of Red Sauce, where we were going to eat after our tour. Red Sauce has pasta, pizza, calzones, sandwiches, and salads. After, we went to the last building dedicated to culinary. Beautifully large with glass windows everywhere, we walked inside where you can see what all the classes are making because of their half-glass walls. We passed classes making croissants, bread, sausage, and much more while seeing cakes on display everywhere in the hallways. After a great tour, we headed to Red Sauce before leaving the university and heading home. —Ellie Richards ‘21

On Tuesday January 14th, we went to Johnson and Wales University to get a taste of the culinary world. During the tour we got an in-depth look at the facilities and operations. We passed by on-hands classes including bread making and pastry. The classes also centered around food service, which we got to sit in on. The talent of the students was obvious as shown by the intricate cakes and sugar work. The chefs were very friendly and created a positive environment. The students all looked so energetic and happy during their classes. It is obvious that they are passionate about what they are doing. I was impressed that the different culinary majors worked together. The class that specialized in breaking down meats sent their prepared meat to the other classes. The pastry chefs would send their desserts to the savory chefs and vice versa. The prepared food would be set out to a buffet at the end of the day for the other students and dining hall. All and all, this was a passionate culinary community that genuinely loved what they’re doing.–Emma Alexander ‘20

Johnson and Wales University was beautiful through my eyes and through my nose. From precise and exquisite sugar sculptures to scents of crafted masterpieces, they had it all. We got to see actual restaurants on campus to student-run kitchens, which shows the school really gets their students involved by getting their hands dirty. From my own experience in kitchens and being under the pressure, I could tell through the looks in their eyes that they were in the zone just like they would be in a real kitchen scenario. Being prepared with not only knowledge but experience as well allows chefs to settle into real kitchens a lot more smoothly. The university has incredibly fresh, delicious food and is either consumed, donated or sold for fairly cheap since they make so much. The campus itself is quite beautiful, modern, and fairly spacious. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit this afternoon to Johnson and Wales University. —Steve Andonian ‘21

The Jonathan D. Sellitto Culinary Arts Club ’01 was fortunate enough to take a trip to Johnson and Wales University to immerse us in their comprehensive culinary arts program. As our tour guide led us through the academic buildings on the Johnson and Wales campus, the culinary club members experienced the depth of the courses and programs offered at the university. From the sommelier management class where the students were sampling a variety of Italian wines to viennoiserie 101, a class dedicated to teaching students the foundations of classic breakfast pastries such as croissants and Danishes, we were all amazed by the intricacy of the work. My favorite part of the tour was seeing a culinary class make sausage from scratch. Students were handcrafting every element, from grinding the meat using an industrial grinder to putting the meet in natural casing. Students at Johnson and Wales fully experience life as a chef while still in school, so much so that classes procure their own menu and craft a series of dishes that are served to the student body. I was truly amazed and inspired by the dedication and hard work of the students at Johnson and Wales. The culinary arts are often underrated in terms of difficulty, but after our morning at JWU, I have a better understanding of the effort and dedication necessary to becoming successful in the culinary world. —Eloise Abbate ‘20

On Tuesday January 14th, the Jonathan D. Sellitto Culinary Arts Club ’01 visited Johnson and Wales University. Here, we took a tour of the campus and saw what the day in the life of a culinary student included. First, our senior tour guide showed us the Friedman Center, which included the library, academic and residential services and the wonderful Culinary Arts Museum. Next we headed to The Harborside Academic Center, which included several academic classrooms, food labs, and Red Sauce, one of the many dining options on campus. Lastly, we toured The Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence. This was my favorite part of the tour because we got to see students work in both cold and hot kitchens, meat cutting and meat processing rooms, practice dining services and even see some of their cake and bread creations. The University offers a ton of great options for their students and allows them to explore different ideas both inside and outside of the kitchen. I really enjoyed this field trip and hope to learn even more about the culinary arts as the year goes on! —Julia Sisk ‘21

From the moment that I stepped on to the Johnson and Wales University campus, a feeling of creativity and freedom rained down on me. Large, modern buildings that emitted a sophisticated, yet fun, vibe greeted me. When inside the Grace Welcome Center, I felt the seriousness of any other university along with the focus on culinary arts. The hallways were lined with tall multi-layered cakes, and pictures of students in the kitchen lined the wall. Through these things, I felt a wanting to cook hit me. Seeing students in the kitchen, their cakes, and bread sculptures inspired me to hop in and make something myself.

Although culinary is not something I plan to study in college, Johnson and Wales University had me considering the switch. Cooking is such an important part of the sustenance of life, and it is definitely something that we should indulged in. Rafael Borromeo ‘20

I was able to go on a tour to Johnson and Wales University. I was able to see how their culinary education is, and how it is a part of their life. I was also able to try some of their food on campus, such as a Caprese sandwich and three slices of their special pizza of the day. The food was great and authentic. I am very interested in learning more about this school and what it has to offer. I am very glad that I was able to go on this Culinary Arts field trip, and I can’t wait for the next one!

Throughout my life, I have been exposed to, and been able to learn about, culinary arts. While I was walking around Johnson Wales University, I noticed that the students that were majoring in the culinary arts were very determined to learn and become a better chef, sous chef, or a sommelier. Every time a chef/instructor was speaking, the students were very attentive, and they were genuinely enjoying their time. The education of culinary arts was very intricate, yet easy to grasp. After this field trip, I feel more educated and interested in the culinary arts. —Luke Kuyper ‘20

Today, the Jonathan D. Sellitto Culinary Arts Club ’01 traveled to Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. We were greeted on campus by one of the University’s admissions counselors, who gave us a brief information session and told us all about its culinary programs and classes. After we were done with our info session, we were then handed off to our tour guide who was a junior at the university. She took us all over the kitchens and classrooms on campus, including their culinary museum, which happened to be my favorite part! We saw all sorts of restaurant setups and tools. Overall, the campus was not only beautiful, but featured state-of-the-art technology that allows their students to develop into professionals. After we finished the tour, we ate at one of the school’s restaurants, which featured pizza, pasta, and more. Personally, I tried the pizza and loved it! When we were done eating, we headed over to downtown Providence where we got to see their downtown campus (just from the outside). Next we went to a cafe named Knead that sells doughnuts and coffee. I tried a chocolate glazed doughnut, and it was delicious! Overall it was a great day, and I am so incredibly thankful that we had the opportunity to see the university and everything that it has to offer. —Ted Falvey ‘20

I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Johnson and Wales. The tour guide was a junior, so she gave her own personal insight into the school and what it had to offer. We were able to peek into some of the “labs” where a chef was conducting classes for the students. It was interesting to see how education can be intermixed with culinary practice. Once you got past the wonderful smells, you were really able to take in everything. Something I was always interested in was international foods. It seems, although the school is in the United States, they do a very good job of incorporating different cultures into the courses available. The United States is a melting pot of cultures, and Johnson and Wales appears to enhance this. I was responsible for takeover Tuesday Tuesday that day, and I was able to photograph a lot of what we saw. This helped me really process what we were seeing and experiencing. The culinary world is so vast and stretches beyond the kitchen. —Kate Driscoll ‘20

The experience of a college tour is one that is familiar to me. I have walked around many campuses and looked in on many courses, but Johnson and Wales was a whole new experience. There was a sense of liveliness among all the classes with all the students listening carefully to their instructor. It was clear the students actually cared and had a desire to learn. Having worked in a kitchen before, I admire all the students there. Pursuing a career in the culinary arts is not an easy task, and it takes a lot of work and dedication.

I have lived a different reality than most when it comes to food. Growing up on a high school campus equipped with a dining hall, I am used to buffet style, where the food is always prepared in mass quantities and you serve yourself. It was awesome to see how students go to classes in order to learn how to serve or how to prepare a masterpiece of a dish. I never really thought about that side of the food world until this tour. It was truly an eye opening experience. —Matthew Walter ‘20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s