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Award-winning chef instructor Scott Steiner trains former Niagara Falls Culinary Institute student Antonio LaBarbera in a culinary lab. (NCCC photo)
Award-winning chef instructor Scott Steiner trains former Niagara Falls Culinary Institute student Antonio LaBarbera in a culinary lab. (NCCC photo)

Shadow day at Niagara Falls Culinary Institute gives potential students hands-on experience

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Wed, Feb 24th 2021 10:25 am

The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is known for giving its students a hands-on learning experience that prepares them for careers in hospitality, culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts. A new initiative will now give potential students the opportunity to connect with current students and faculty, having a hands-on experience of their own through a shadow program.

This new program is the vision of Josh Blumberg, assistant vice president of academic affairs at NFCI.

“The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is a world-class culinary and baking and pastry arts facility, with state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained and accredited chef instructors at community college prices. It was obvious to the staff here that, if potential students spend one day with us, they would see that value and quality for themselves,” he said.

Currently, a majority of shadow day participants are high school juniors and seniors, but the actual makeup of students at NFCI includes a great deal of nontraditional students, as well.

A typical shadow day lasts approximately four hours, allowing participants to view the action of a culinary or baking and pastry lab firsthand, interact with current students and connect with faculty. Participants also meet with an adviser from the college one on one to learn about tuition costs, job placement opportunities, housing and scholarship opportunities.

Before the shadow experience is over, participants are treated to a meal in Savor Restaurant or La Patisserie Pastry Cafe, the student-run retail operations at NFCI. The restaurant and pastry shop operations are part of the curriculum for students attending NFCI – one of the ways Niagara County Community College prepares students for real-world experiences in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts or hospitality.

Student Services adviser Sabrina Faso said, “About 95% of attendees decide that the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is a good fit for them after attending a shadow session.”

NFCI is a division of NCCC. For more information on shadow day at NFCI, visit https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/about/.

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