A Slice Of Life

It takes just 12 weeks to complete SLICE’s professional certification course

Small class sizes, proper equipment selection and an opportunity to love the food you make and eat are all hallmarks of the Salt Lake Culinary Education (SLICE) experience in South Salt Lake.

SLICE offers instructor-led cooking experiences for every skill level—from the beginner who is interested in knife basics, to the home chef looking to spice up their meals, to the emerging culinary professional seeking a career in the industry.

While foodies and home chefs have been honing their skills through SLICE for years, the opportunity to expedite a professional culinary career is among the newest offerings from the institute.

The 12-week professional certification course will prepare students to step onto the line in any hospitality environment with the confidence, skills and certification needed to keep commercial kitchens running smoothly.

SLICE prides itself in its designation as an American Culinary Federation (ACF) Education Foundation Quality Program. “What this means,” Rich Sheya, SLICE owner and institute director, says, “is that our program is recognized by a third-party organization as having a quality program and when the student passes out of this class and passes the exams, they have a national certification that a chef anywhere in the world would recognize.”

The SLICE Professional Certification Course teaches valuable skills beyond the line as well. From kitchen profitability and pricing systems to menu creation processes and networking skills, students will have the opportunity to consider the entire breadth and depth of restaurant operations.

In addition to 180 hours of hands-on time in the kitchen lab under the direction of chef and institute director Greg Reith and 25 hours of recipe-planning instruction, SLICE professionals will also spend 15 hours visiting local food artisans and purveyors to learn about their specialties. Another 40 hours are devoted to mini-internships in working kitchens where they will interact and network with culinary professionals in the field.

They also have the opportunity to stage a Chef’s Table—a weekly experience held at SLICE Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., designed to test and teach students and entertain guests who attend the lunch for just $10.

Executive chef & institute director Greg Reith

Chef Reith will put together a basket of mystery ingredients and the students go to work to craft a meal for strangers who can watch their every move and ask questions—as might be the case in a real restaurant environment. But the true purpose of the stage is to further hone each student’s best skills. “We want to find out who’s the bread maker, who’s the saucier,” Reith explains. “It allows me to do the litmus test to see where these people are going to go.”

With 315 total hours of multi-disciplinary culinary curriculum, the SLICE certification program also supplies students with everything they need to start work in a restaurant once they finish, including a set of four Wusthof knives, pair of chef pants, two embroidered chef coats, a chef’s hat and an apron.

“Experience shouldn’t be expensive, but it should be impressive,” Reith says about the value of the SLICE certification course. “We are providing very impressive experience in 12 weeks.”

Local restauranteur Manoli Katsanevas, owner and chef at Manoli’s, proctored the first semester’s final exam. “I was impressed with how much they learned in 12 weeks,” he says. “The most important thing was that they had decent knife skills and good sanitation practices—which are the biggest things I look for in a new cook.”

Six students have completed the certification course to date and begun working in the culinary industry, and Reith expects the institute to become an incubator program for local businesses looking for trained professionals who can be productive members of a kitchen staff on Day 1.

To learn more about the program, make a reservation to attend the Chef’s Table by calling 801-464-0113 and visit SaltLakeCulinaryCenter.com/institution-course.

Cost: $9,800

Timing: Application deadline for the fall semester
is Sept. 3

Process: Fill out an enrollment form along with a $60 application fee. Applicants will be interviewed prior to acceptance. A $2,500 deposit is due upon agreement; the remainder is due two weeks before the program starts.

Cook with SLICE in August
Aug. 15, 6 to 8 p.m.
Brews & Bites: Kiitos Brewing, $40
Join Kiitos Brewing for an evening of craft beer sampling complemented by small plates created by SLICE executive chef Greg Reith.

Aug. 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
Passions & Pairings, $85
Chef Drew will take class participants on a wine tour through Tuscany’s majestic reds and Campagna’s white varietals. Wines will be paired with Drew’s Italian pinwheel bread, antipasto, olive and onion salad, chicken Milanese and dessert.

Aug. 24, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Basic Knife Skills, $80
This fundamental skills class taught by SLICE executive chef Greg Reith is designed for beginners or those who are looking to refresh their knife skills. Participants will learn how to choose the right knife for the job; keep a sharp edge; and master slicing, dicing and mincing.

Aug. 27, 6 to 9 p.m.
Wellness Lifestyle Cuisine Series, $90
Hear from Sinead Urwin, functional medicine nutritionist, as she and SLICE executive chef Greg Reith discuss intermittent fasting and how to create a healthy, vibrant lifestyle.

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