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In the Spotlight

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dining at the Rainier Room

By Nancy Covert

The brochure read, in part, “…if you believe food presentation can be a form of art…” Hmmm—that sounded tantalizing, indeed.

So when Feb. 23 rolled around a group of Town on the Sound women braved the early morning snow/sleet/hail that descended on the area and headed off for their monthly lunch gathering. Clover Park Technical College’s Rainier Room was the destination.

If you’ve never been there, consider adding it to a “must do” list. This secluded eatery, tucked in an out-of-the-way corner of the CPTC campus, is the training site for the college’s culinary arts program.

Each menu item, from the well-laden crab bisque to a wide array of entrees: stuffed chicken breast with prosciutto-wrapped broccioli and an herbed-filled baked potato or a chai braised salad,

finished with a poached pear/ice cream or raspberry sorbet dessert. Each dish was indeed a “work of art.”

The Rainier Room, open only between 11:15 a.m-12:45 p.m., Wednesday-Friday, provides patrons with the opportunity to dine on quality meals at a fraction of what they will, one day, cost at some up-scale restaurant.

Students enroll in the five-quarter program, offering either the opportunity to train as a restaurant or catering/banquet manager, a sous or executive chef, as kitchen-station supervisors and as cooks. The classroom includes a lecture hall, an immense kitchen and dining hall.

Unexpectedly, the server for the day’s meal was Renee, of Steilacoom. She said that she’d returned to school to learn a new skill since her children were grown. At meal’s end she delivered “take out” boxes to each guest who planned to finish the rest of their meals later.

Thanks, Renee. Best wishes.

Reviews about the Ladies Lunch Group events appear occasionally in the Suburban Times. Restaurant reviews are definitely biased.

The Rainier Room is located in Building 31, close to the Campus’s west side. Reservations are required. More details (menu selections, etc.) are available at www.tacomaculinary.com Clover Park Technical College is located at 4500 Steilacoom Blvd., SW in Lakewood. Phone 253-589-5889.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Veterans’ Service Article

This article first appeared in the PA TIMES, newspaper of the American Society for Public Administration (www.aspanet.org).

2011 Sustainability Summit and Expo

I would like to invite you to the 2011 Sustainability Summit and Expo.

The 2011 Sustainability Summit will take place at Pierce College—Ft. Steilacoom on Friday, March 4th and is designed for college teams to work on sustainability initiatives. The Sustainability Summit is free. For more information and to register go to www.pierce.ctc.edu/other/confreg/agenda

The 2011 Sustainability Expo is a showcase of the various businesses that are providing sustainability services to residents in Pierce County. This will be held on Saturday, March 5th at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Admission is free and all members of the public are invited and encouraged to attend. Tell your neighbors and bring your friends. For more information about the Sustainability Expo visit http://cptcgreenlining.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tonight's Adriatic Grill Gala POSTPONED

Everyone - the Adriatic Grill Gala has been postponed to March 13!

We are postponing the Thursday, February 24th Gala Fundraising event scheduled at Adriatic Grill.

We have had several Guests call to cancel being very concerned about the snow and the night's freeze. We also don't want anyone to take chances with their safety.

We are postponing to Sunday, March 13 at 6:00pm; and the program and prizes will be EXACTLY the same.

If you are still available to attend the new event date (which we really hope you are!) we will change the price per ticket for you to $80 per person.

We hope you can make the new date.

To make your March 13 Gala reservation, visit: http://www.adriaticgrill.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Seeking Volunteer Peer Mentors

Hello from the STEP Center!

Our peer mentoring program is well on its way and we are ready to have some volunteer participants.

We would love to help star students connect and assist their peers in this community.

Portraits of Courage - Black History Month Event

February 22, 2011 - 11:00 am
Bldg. 23, Student Center, Rm. 302
Sponsored by Multicultural Student Services

We've all heard the age-old philosophical question "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Philosophers have argued this question for centuries, but substitute the theatre for the tree and the argument becomes moot: If a play is performed and no one attends it, then the play has no effect on society, provides no entertainment, and makes no statement. In order for theatre-or, for that matter, communication-to take place, there must be someone to express an idea and someone to respond.

I am writing to ask for your support in bringing your students to experience the production of "Portraits of Courage" which will be performed here at CPTC on February 22nd at 11am in the Student Center.

Learning has many facets and to those who might never have had a chance to see a live performance, theatrical art is one of the greatest avenues for bringing information, awareness and culture in a way that can only be experienced by being there, (to hear the sound it makes.)

I know it's not always possible to change your regularly scheduled classroom activities but I encourage you try to make an exception in this case.

"Portraits" is a 65 minute live theatrical presentation with a cast of two actors, one male and one female. There are 6 African-American historical characters portrayed: Ida B. Wells, Lewis Latimer, Colonel Young, CJ Walker, Bass Reeves and Fannie Lou Hamer. The show is self-contained and travels across the country with costumes, props, video presentation, and lighting design. The show is written from historical facts. The characters and experiences portrayed are all true. For more information visit http://www.willandcompany.com/downloads/nat/portraits/POCPackage.pdf

Please either take your class or give your students an opportunity to experience this nationally recognized performance as a part of their learning experience here at CPTC and as a way to celebrate this month of Black History, which in reality is American History. Thank you for your support.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

College Closed February 18 - 21

Furlough Day February 18, 2011
President's Day Closure 2/18 - 2/21

State budget reductions directly affect employees and services
Clover Park Technical College employees will be taking their third furlough day on Friday, February 18, the third of four scheduled furlough days during the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.

In response to the Governor’s Executive Order to reduce costs by 6.3 percent during the current fiscal year (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011), all unions and unrepresented staff agreed to voluntarily cut their pay by four working days this fiscal year in order to temporarily postpone the need for additional layoffs.

* No college services will be provided on all scheduled furlough days with the exception of the childcare center and the Center for Business Development.

* Previously scheduled events in the McGavick Conference Center will proceed as scheduled.

* In addition to salary savings from the furlough day, this closure is an attempt to save utility funding. Maintenance will be proactively reducing temperatures and turning off lights.

Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, February 22.

Stress Management Workshop for CPTC Employees

On Tuesday, March 8th, 2011, Jane Benson from our Employee Assistance Program will be on campus to present a Stress Management Workshop for CPTC Employees.

This presentation will be held in the Student Center, Room 302 at 12:00 pm and will be repeated at 2:00 pm.

If you have any questions please contact Anne Mauch at 589-5645 or Shema Hanebutte at 589-6066.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Veteran's Resource Center Open House

The Veteran's Resource Center is hosting an Open House this Wednesday, February 16th from 10:00-3:00. We will be serving a pizza lunch for our students who are veterans, active duty military and military spouses or dependents from 11:30-1:30.

Questions? Call Tiffaney at 253-589-5966

ALTER EGO Quarterly Skincare & Makeup Event

Date: February 25th
Time: 8:30am – 1pm
Location: Building 8, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood

Pure Image Esthetics is hosting the event. (We are Jennifer Errigo's second quarter esthetics class)

This is a quarterly makeup and skin care event. This quarter's theme is "alter ego". We're inviting customers in to discover a different side of themselves, letting us bring it out through makeup. We are all dressing up as our 'alter-egos' and it should be a lot of fun!

We are performing a complimentary facial cleanse and makeup application based on 'first come first served' for walk-ins. Appointments can be made via the phone at (253) 589-5741. (They fill up fast)

Also all Dermalogica skin care products and Bare Escentuals Makeup products will be 30% off!

Some selected items will even be 50% while supplies last (no double discount).

For more information: (253) 589-5741

MLK Week of Service - Thank You

Update and Results Report from MLK Week of Service activities!

We want to send out a huge THANK YOU to those faculties, staff and students who participated in activities for the AmeriCorp MLK Week of Service in January. Our appreciation especially goes to the Trades Academy Pre-apprenticeship Prep (TAPP) program for sending out 10 students to help with our Habitat for Humanity event and Instructor, Joshua Kollman. They were awesome and enthusiastic about helping (even in the mud and rain!) and it made the day so much more successful! You guys are awesome!

Also, a special THANK YOU to the students at Northwest Career & Technical High School who took the challenge from their Principal to each donate one dollar for our Craft Supply and Game Drive for Tacoma Rescue Mission's Adam Street Youth Event. Your contribution was admirable and heartwarming! With these donations, they were able to donate 5 Wii games that were highly desired by the children at the Mission! We arrived there with boxes of board games, card games, craft supplies, books, Leapster/games, movies and much more! A special thanks to Joyce Loveday, Laurie Banaszak, John Ruiz & his bride, Sky Chafee (UWT), Amanda Sanchez (TCC), Stacey Hill (CPTC student) & her children who came to play, contribute and support the success of this Youth Celebration Event! And thank you to our Associated Student Government for backing this drive and making it possible!

The first set of picture are from the Habitat for Humanity site.

These pictures are from the second event - Adam Street Youth Center.

Tacoma's Biggest Restaurant Party

Friday, February 11, 2011

Important Information for Students

Spring Quarter Registration Dates to Remember:

February 14 – February 17, 2011 - Web Registration for All Winter Students Continuing Into Spring

February 22 – February 25, 2011 - Registration for All New Admitted and Re-entering Students with a Spring Target Start Date

February 28, 2011 - Open Registration

March 3, 2011 - Spring Fees are Due

(All students with unpaid charges will be dropped and open registration will continue with fees due at the time of registration.)

Remember…….you must register and pay your fees by the due dates in order to attend spring quarter. Please see your Instructor for registration materials.

Students Are Encouraged to Use Automated Waiting Lists

If you find your class or program of choice is full during registration, you are encouraged to add your name to our automated waiting lists when prompted. Students on the automated waiting lists will be registered for any new openings as they occur (including after the drop for non-payment process). You can monitor your wait list position on the College web site by using your student ID and PIN at www.cptc.edu/waitlist.

You may register on-line at www.cptc.edu/register from 6:30 AM to 11:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and 24 hours each day on Saturday and Sunday. Running Start, Elective High School, Adult High School and International students must meet with their advisors prior to registering online.

Spring waiting lists will close on March 31st at 8:00 PM. Enrollment in classes that began prior to this date and time will be by instructor permission only.

Spring 2011 Fees Are Due March 3, 2011

Spring fees are due no later than Thursday, March 3, 2011. Students with unpaid balances will be dropped for non-payment and re-registration will be on a space available basis.

Payment may be made using a credit card on-line at www.cptc.edu/pay or using cash, check, money-order or credit card at the Cashier in Building 17 from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Friday. South Hill Campus students may pay their fees in the SHC Administration Office.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Interior Design Student Portfolio Event

March 17, 2011 from 9 am - 3 pm
Sharon McGavick Conference Center, Bldg 23

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Julie Watts at julie.watts@cptc.edu or 253-589-5567.

Friday, February 4, 2011

careeronestop - pathways to career success


The US Department of Labor has updated its re-employment website, creating a single source for information on jobs, career training, unemployment benefits and food, housing, health care and utility payment assistance.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spring Reminder hits mailboxes this week!

Sunshine = spring. Spring = the spring reminder! In celebration of the beautiful sunshine, thought you'd want to know that the spring reminder is on its way to your mailbox. Check it out! Classes start March 30.

Newsweek article: "Who needs textbooks?"

How Washington State is redesigning textbooks for the digital age.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In the Spotlight: Culinary Arts Program

Beat it – Heat it – Eat it — Sweet!

The world of creating culinary delights begins early.
“Students were up and at it by 7:00 a.m. this morning,” says Chef Dean Massey, Instructor of Clover Park Technical College’s Culinary Arts Program.

“Is that normal on a production day when the restaurant’s open?” I ask.
“That’s normal every day,” Dean says. “One of the things I tell students right up front is that if you think this is a 9-5 job, that’s not the case. You’ll be working 10-12 hours a day, standing all day long, probably no breaks (or maybe a short one), you probably won’t eat all day –”

“What?! No eating?” I ask, incredulous. The irony!

“Well,” he says, “a lot of times you’re working from the moment you start to the time you finish – so if you get anything to eat, it’s very quick. You learn to eat - fast.”

You may wonder where an instructor starts, with some students whipping up soufflés when they walk through the door and others posing a danger to themselves and others when wielding a knife. Safety is important, and the first day is focused on training about how to hold knives and carry knives while walking through the kitchen.

The course always starts at the beginning, assuming all students know nothing. In the cooking business, many people have learned bad habits or take short cuts. Dean’s job is to break those habits and retrain them, from the beginning, in the correct way.

The kitchen is a playground that’s fraught with opportunity for both divine creations and misadventure. When asked to recall an instance that stood out as memorable, Dean demurred, saying every day holds memorable experiences, from cut fingers to things catching on fire – it’s the nature of this fast-paced, crazy business.

The Culinary Arts Program kitchen has several stations to handle everything from appetizers to entrées to desserts: prep station, pantry station, bakery section, grill station, and sauté station. Most important is the lead station, which receives the tickets from the server who determines what foods are coming out of which stations, calls out the orders to those stations, and times everything so that all the food comes up at the same time, and within ten minutes. Ask any cook – this is a feat.

“Sounds like conducting an orchestra,” I say.

“We call it organized chaos,” Dean quips. “It’s a hands-on program where students do undertake book work to build their base of knowledge, but without cooking experience, the knowledge doesn’t mean a thing.

“When you get out of this course and are hired, from day one, you’re expected to know what a béchamel sauce is – and you don’t have time to read up on it. You’re here to perfect your skills. Part of the fun is making mistakes. Then you ask yourself, ‘Okay, what did I do wrong?’ And you do it again and again, until you get it right.”

Chefs-in-training start on the basics, such as a tomato sauce, béchamel sauce, demi-glace, hollandaise sauce, a velouté (a broth that is thickened with roux). These are the core recipes, and they branch out from there.

And talk about being well-stocked – there are almost 2,000 ingredients kept in-house, not counting special-order items.

Does Chef Massey assess every cook’s creations every day?

“Yes, every day,” he says. “Sometimes I taste it, sometimes I don’t – otherwise I’d be full – and fat. I assess and give feedback. Sometimes they like their creations, sometimes they don’t. That’s part of the fun.” And, of course, with all kinds of taste buds, what is one person’s fabulous creation is someone else’s “Ehhh…”

So is it true that restaurant kitchens house the stereotypical temperamental chef?

“A lot of chefs are always on the edge – because it’s a fast-paced business,” Dean says. “You must produce and customers are demanding. There may be some raised voices or some temper, but it doesn’t usually go to extremes, even when mistakes happen, like dropping a steak on the floor. You just start over.”

By the time they get to their fifth quarter, students are writing, producing, and costing-out menus along with creating recipes for the menu. At that point, they have arrived, they are chefs (student chefs not actual chefs). They are running the show, managing people, costing and managing recipes, and ordering supplies (for budget reasons, Dean controls ordering).

Besides a certificate in cooking that students can obtain in three quarters, they may also earn a degree by taking two more quarters, adding the management side, a very important component in determining whether a restaurant makes a profit or not. About half the restaurants that start up fail within five years because they lack skill in management.

The Culinary Arts Program also caters events. Students gain the experience that comes from catering events with typical volumes of 200 or 300 that the Rainier Room (holding around 50 people) cannot provide.

Dean took me on a walking tour of the kitchen, beginning with the prep station.
A student approaches us with her creation, salmon cakes with wasabi and lime sauce.

“How’s it taste?” Dean asks.


Dean smiles. “Good color.” He lifts up a corner of the cake and discovers that the underside has been burned. “Ahhhhh, trying to hide it!”

Something crashes to the floor behind us. “That’s part of the kitchen, too,” Dean says. “A lot of clangin’ and bangin’.” This place is hopping with 30 students!

Then he’s right back to another dish before him. “I’d like to see your chunks of lamb a little bigger. And you also have a lot of oil. What was your thickener?” The student replies that there wasn’t one. Dean coaches, “So you could skim off the oil during your cooking process, or you could add a thickener, like flour, that would bind those together. Those are two options.”

Another creation, Turmeric Curry Chicken appears. Dean asks to what temperature the chicken has been cooked. The student doesn’t miss a beat: 140 degrees (Chef Massey’s note: bone-in chicken is cooked to 165 deg., thin boneless chicken breast can be cooked to 140 deg.). Dean nods, gives a quick assessment: “Looks good, nice color, presentation, the grill marks are good -- missing a little over here, but for where he is as a first-quarter student, good job.”

I ask, “So do you cook with gas?”

Dean replies, “Gas is king in the kitchen.”

Next, we come to the grande-manger (pronounced: gärd-mä?-zh?) or pantry. Prepped ingredients for a salad stand ready in little refrigerated compartments; it should take no more than two minutes to put a salad together.

Then, there’s the bakery section. Corn bread, a tort, someone is separating egg yolks from whites into a large bowl. Commercial-sized Kitchen Aids are at work.

We walk over to the sauté station, fast-paced, Dean’s favorite. Later today, twelve burners will all be fired up. Chefs need to be very careful – and despite their care, it’s inevitable that they’ll get burned at some point. “It’s part of the business, it happens,” he explains.

I point to something above the burners. Dean explains that it’s a long broiler, for toasting items such as crème brûlée, or, in New York, they have rows of these, at 1,000-1,500 degrees, for cooking perfectly-seared steaks.

I want to know about students who are living the dream. Dean tells me about a student who was offered a sous chef position (second in command in the kitchen, under the head chef) at a restaurant in Lakewood. Another shining star is Corina Bakery in Tacoma (check out the bakery’s website for some gorgeous examples of their work), where three CPTC Culinary alums are living the dream. Another is head chef for the Tacoma Art Museum. Another is with Stanley & Seafort’s. And yet another is with Primo Grill in Tacoma. Many students, happily, have jobs before they graduate.

As all of CPTC’s students know, dreams come in all kinds of flavors. Those dreams achieved through the Culinary Arts Program are especially sweet and satisfying.

Dianne Bunnell
Clover Park Technical College

About Chef Dean Massey:

Dean Massey trained at Clover Park Technical College when it was still a technical institute (1987-88). He then went to work for Restaurants Unlimited, which is the national corporation that owns Stanley & Seafort’s, where he worked for ten years. Afterward, Chef Massey worked at the Lobster Shop for five years. He has been Chef at CPTC for seven years now.

If you’re curious about these fine dining establishments, check them out on the web at: http://www.r-u-i.com/page/home the corporate company of http://stanleyandseaforts.com/page/home and http://www.lobstershop.com/.

4th Annual Supporting Military Kids and Families Summit

When: Friday March 4, 2011 from 7:30AM to 4:30PM

Where: Tacoma Elks Lodge #142,
2114 Tacoma Ave. S.,
Tacoma WA 98402

Sponsors: Washington State University, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, U.S. Dept. of Education Region X, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Register at: www.regonline.com/mkids2010

Admission: $10 - $75

Contact: Dana Colwell

Email: danacolwell@wsu.edu or danacolwell@puyallup.wsu.edu

Phone: (253)445-4575

Fax: (253)445-4633

Website: www.conferences.wsu.edu
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