Wake Tech and “A Place at the Table” Team Up to Address Hospitality Labor Shortage
Culinary and Baking Instruction to be Offered in Unique Raleigh Cafe
Raleigh, NC (July 15, 2021) – Triangle residents and “foodies” have a new option for culinary and baking instruction – and this fall, it’s free! Wake Technical Community College is teaming up with A Place at the Table to provide non-degree, short-term culinary and baking classes at the downtown Raleigh café. The six-to-eight week courses lead to industry certifications and will be offered in the evenings, Monday through Thursday -- times when the cafe is not open for customers. Wake Tech will waive the registration fee for fall 2021, to support the local hospitality industry in its post-pandemic recovery.
“We know that our restaurants were hit especially hard during the pandemic,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls, “and we want to rally around them in their comeback. We appreciate Maggie Kane opening the kitchens of A Place at the Table for our classes, which will help bring more skilled workers into the hospitality industry.”
The announcement was made today at A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can café. Diners can pay the suggested price, pay a minimum of $3, volunteer for their meal, or use a meal token distributed by local non-profits. The café expanded last summer with the addition of a new full-service commercial kitchen. Throughout the pandemic, A Place at the Table gave away thousands of free meals, including more than 15,000 meals in the first three months alone.
“The pandemic was wild for us, but our team is awesome and held strong!” said Maggie Kane, Executive Director and Founder of A Place at the Table. “We are so excited about our partnership with Wake Tech and can’t wait to meet these awesome culinary students.”
The first classes at A Place at the Table will start in August. Basic Culinary Arts includes cooking instruction along with restaurant fundamentals such as food production, safety, and service. The Basic Baking course will cover the science and techniques of baking from scratch, including quick breads, cakes, cookies, and pastries.
Students who complete a culinary or baking certification course at A Place at the Table and go on to work for a Wake County hospitality employer for six months will be eligible for a special scholarship. The “A Place at Wake Tech Hospitality Scholarship,” valued at $3,000, will allow the scholarship recipient to continue their education in Wake Tech’s Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, or Hospitality Management degree programs.
Wake Tech also plans to offer individual specialty cooking classes at A Place at the Table during the day on Mondays, when the restaurant is typically closed. These classes will feature guest chefs providing instruction on gourmet and international cuisine. The fall fee waiver and “A Place at Wake Tech Hospitality Scholarship” will not apply to students in these classes.
To register for a class at A Place at the Table, or to learn more, visit yourtable.waketech.edu.