SOWELA Culinary Arts Students Collaborate with Celebrity Chefs at Louisiana Food and Wine Festival

Louisiana Festival Establishes Culinary Arts Scholarship from Event Proceeds

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – September 8, 2023)

SOWELA Technical Community College’s Culinary Arts students will be able to learn firsthand from celebrity chefs during the Louisiana Food and Wine Festival on September 14-17, 2023. SOWELA students will participate in the Louisiana Celebrity Chefs Wine Dinner, Louisiana Inspired Master Classes, “Fire on the Lake,” Louisiana Grand Tasting and Sunday’s Jazz Brunch. Proceeds from the festival will help establish a scholarship for students in SOWELA’s Culinary Arts program.

“This event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with some of the greatest culinary minds around the state and the country,” said SOWELA Culinary Arts student Joseph Lacomb. “It provides students like me with a lasting passion for the industry and our home here in Lake Charles.”

During the festival, students will work alongside Chefs John Currence, City Grocery Restaurant Group; Meg Bickford, Commander’s Palace; Edgar “Dook” Chase IV, Chapter IV; David Rose, Television Chef and Author; Ryan Hacker, Brennan’s; and Amanda Cusey, Louisiana Seafood Queen.

“As educators, we value the growth and development of our students above all else,” said SOWELA Chef and Instructor Josh Dutton. “The Louisiana Food and Wine Festival provides our students with a unique opportunity to work with nationally recognized chefs in an exciting educational context, providing both invaluable professional training and memories to last a lifetime. We are fortunate to have this partnership with the festival.”

SOWELA students will have front- and back-of-house responsibilities during the six-course Celebrity Chefs Wine Dinner and Jazz Brunch. Leading up to and during these events, they will help prep ingredients, prepare dishes, plate food and pour wine, connecting classroom learning with firsthand hospitality experiences. Students will also assist celebrity chefs with Master Classes and cooking demonstrations at the Grand Tasting, which will enhance their understanding of how to set up a successful demo. During Friday evening’s “Fire on the Lake,” SOWELA Culinary students will pass out their own specially prepared desserts at SOWELA’s booth.

SOWELA’s Culinary Arts program is housed in the new $10.8 million Culinary, Gaming and Hospitality Center and prepares students to work in service, production and baking areas of the food industry. Program content includes American Culinary Federation guidelines for approved chef training, accreditation and National Restaurant Association Pro Management Certification. Students also learn the business side of owning a restaurant, including managing a budget and more.

For more information about SOWELA’s Culinary Arts program, visit our Culinary Arts page or contact the One Stop Enrollment Office at (337) 421-6550 or Scholarships and financial aid are available for those who qualify.

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 85 years.

3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
(800) 256-0483

Mon-Thu: 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
(337) 421-6550

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:

Title IX Officer

Candy Parker

(337) 421-6510 or (800) 256-0483

3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

ADA Officer

Maegan Lewis

(337) 421-6952 or (800) 256-0483

3850 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

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