The Kitchen Academy division of schools was built around a new curriculum in culinary education providing intensive and hands on training. The project team worked closely with Career Education Corporation (CEC), headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, and CEC’s kitchen equipment consultants during the early development of the concept to provide facilities uniquely tailored to the curriculum. The first facility constructed was a 20,000 SF campus in Hollywood, CA containing four teaching kitchens each focused on a different level in the students culinary training.
Two large teaching kitchens were designed for the introductory courses. Each kitchen is equipped with four custom islands, containing individual professional teaching stations for each student. Everything the student needs is at his or her fingertips. The islands were carefully designed to provide all the necessary functional elements while preserving sight lines to the instructor. The third teaching kitchen multitasks to provide courses in pastry and baking and cold cuisine techniques. The culmination of the program is the restaurant kitchen in which the senior most students prepare a meal for the entire student body and staff, which is served in the Dining Room. When meals are not being served, the Dining Room is the place for informal meetings, hanging out, and demonstration lectures from guest chefs.
In addition to the Hollywood campus, VDTA worked with CEC to roll out three additional locations across the country. Each new campus plan was modified from the original to include improvements such the addition of a new Pastry and Baking Certificate Program.