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Southwest University Celebrates Grand Opening of Culinary Institute

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Southwest University celebrated the grand opening of its Culinary Institute.

The institute will serve as a hub for aspiring chefs, culinary enthusiasts and anyone passionate about the culinary world.

Benjamin Arriola, the president of the university, told ABC-7 after lengthy research they learned there was a high demand for these types of jobs in the area.

"It was an honor to be able to bring this to our community. We are so excited about matching the techniques and the passion that our founding chefs have brought to us, with the rich culture that we already have in our community, and being able to transform and elevate our cuisine and make it a staple for our region and really for the world," Arriola said.

The president said there are already over 100 students enrolled in the program. The next class begins January 2024.

"El Paso and Ciudad Juarez already has a rich history and culture of food and flavors. What we hope to do is really elevate it, add some sophistication, some technique, but at the end of the day we want everyone who sits down in our kitchen table to remember the first meal they had at their grandma's house and to take them back to their childhood. So that's what we're hoping to achieve with our students," the president said.

Chef Carlos Gaytan, one of the founders of the Culinary Institute, said students enrolled earn a different type of education.

"Here personally we come once in a while and work with them, and teach them not just have recipes, but passion. It's so super different, You know, something that they never teach you,"

Student Damian Puente said he is excited to be a student in this program. He is happy he chose this institution.

"I really did see a lot of potential in here. The chefs that they brought out to teach us are wonderful. Chefs are really high end chefs. I knew right away. They're going to teach really good here. The values are going to be great. The food is going to be great. And so far, I'm not disappointed with anything," Puente said.

According to the institute's website, students will gain an immersive learning experience that goes beyond a conventional classroom setting.

"Through hands-on training and guidance from renowned industry professionals, you’ll develop a profound understanding of the culinary arts and gain the expertise required to excel in this dynamic field."

The ceremony featured facility tours and a culinary showcase. Distinguished guests, renowned chefs, and Southwest University officials were in attendance to celebrate this exciting milestone.

Southwest University has a long-standing tradition of excellence in education, and the Culinary Institute is another step forward in our commitment to offering diverse and comprehensive programs to meet the needs of our students and the industry. 

For more information visit this website.

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Noelia Gonzalez

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