By Annette Velarde

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” –George Bernard Shaw

One afternoon a few years ago, Laurie Moldawer was staring out the window of her New York City high-rise office, feeling trapped in her job. A short time later, she decided to take a hiatus to fulfill a life-long dream of attending the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris. Now in Park City, Moldawer’s joie de vivre is her touchstone instead of her job. Her zest for life is infectious and it is impossible to be in her presence and not become enthusiastic about her latest project: the Park City Culinary Institute (“PCCI”).

“Park City has already become a food lover’s paradise,” said Moldawer. “Having a professional culinary training program in Park City will enhance the restaurant scene, and make Park City available to those who want to learn professional culinary techniques in a mountain setting.” When Park City’s renowned Chef Houman Gohary (prior instructor at the California Culinary Academy, trainer for Ritz Carlton, and owner of Good Karma Restaurant) offered his business and kitchen expertise to support a culinary school, Moldawer knew the idea was going to take off.

And take off it did. Soon, prominent professionals, such as Mary Cech from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., were offering their enthusiastic support and talents as instructors.

Styled after European culinary academies, the Institute offers two-and three-month programs requiring 160 credit hours on knife skills, stocks and sauces, filleting and butchering, flavorings and flavor building techniques, and high altitude baking, to name just a few. Moldawer remembers fondly the attention to detail and sophisticated standards demonstrated by the chefs in Paris, and hopes to instill that pride and commitment to excellence in PCCI students. PCCI graduates earn a Professional Certificate in the Culinary Arts, and many have caught the attention of fine dining establishments in the area. While many schools’ programs take as long as two years to complete, Park City Culinary Institute focuses on the resort industry’s staffing needs by requiring students to be fully-engaged in its intense program so they are able to move into jobs much more quickly. The tuition is a fraction of similar schools’, making the program highly attractive to epicureans who want to pursue their passion like a pro, but in the comfort of their own home.

In addition to the Professional Certification Program, PCCI offers lighter, fun-filled programs for private and corporate groups. These can be customized to include wine and whiskey tastings, team building and recreational competitions. During the week, walk-ins are allowed to sit-in on professional classes and observe the instruction from a front row seat in the kitchen. Moldawer says, “Don’t just follow your dreams, race toward them as fast as your feet will carry you.”

The starting line awaits at Park City Culinary Institute! or 435.659.5075.

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