Cabrillo students cooking in kitchen
The lobby of Cabrillo’s Sesnon House is a flurry with Culinary Arts Students ‘in motion’ readying gourmet meal and dessert orders for curbside pickup.
(Image courtesy of Cabrillo College)
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Cabrillo College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management classes continue amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Presented by Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College’s beloved Pino Alto restaurant is now open for gourmet, to-go meals.

In mid-March, the COVID-19 pandemic and California’s Shelter in Place orders brought in-person experiences across the state to a screeching halt. K-12 and higher education institutions were forced to quickly pivot to online instruction, while many restaurants and retail businesses were temporarily shuttered. The instructors of Cabrillo College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program were faced with the daunting challenge of figuring out how students in their hands-on, Culinary Arts classes, could gain the experience they needed to earn their degrees, while adhering to local and state health guidelines.

Cabrillo instructors took the remainder of spring semester to do some creative thinking, PPE acquiring, and extensive safety planning. By the start of fall semester, Cabrillo’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program and the Pino Alto Restaurant it runs (located in the Sesnon House of Cabrillo’s Aptos Campus) were back in business, giving students the opportunity to continue getting the hands-on experience they needed to earn their degrees, and giving the community the opportunity to still enjoy the innovative, gourmet menu for which Pino Alto is known, now in a to-go format.

Cabrillo’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program has adapted to the pandemic by transitioning our food offerings to take away options, while still educating our local talent on campus and in our kitchens. For our community seeking high-quality food that also supports the education of our future culinary leaders, look no further than Pino Alto Restaurant and Catering.

— Jeremy MacVeigh, Department Chair of Cabrillo’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program

“You can now order easily from and in doing so you will be a part of the education of those running our local restaurants and bakeries. For those interested in an education in culinary arts, baking & pastry, nutritional cooking, or wine - we are still here and we are still using our facilities to deliver in-person classes that require that critical hands-on experience.”

Cabrillo College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program gives students the opportunity to become artisans of cuisine and culinary-based professionalism, and exposes students to industry-level talent, technique, and skills, while providing hands-on experience. The program is one of only three such programs currently operating in California. Students who complete the program can graduate to become chefs, restaurant owners, personal chefs, hotel and resort managers, caterers, food scientists, and more.

a plate of prepared salmon
Salmon dish
(Cabrillo College)

Cabrillo’s distinguished group of instructors and chefs from diverse backgrounds collaboratively bring their unique talents to the program, including professional cooking experience, catering operations, and kitchen management. Students in the program get to learn from these instructors and chefs, and then practice their training and skills in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at the Pino Alto Restaurant, which, under non-COVID circumstances, is a full-service, fine dining restaurant where guests are treated to relaxing decor, spacious views of Cabrillo’s historic Sesnon House mansion grounds, and of course, a menu of gourmet lunch, dinner, and dessert items created to regale the hungry visitor.

In this new, COVID-19 approach, Cabrillo’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management students will continue to engage in the pedagogy and training that they are expected to acquire, while being able to deliver the finest take-out quality meals to the public. Diners can take home fully prepared gourmet meals, or take and bake meal kits and pantry items such as a handmade lasagna that serves 12, or delicious cookie doughs that are sold by the pound.

Culinary Arts Students 'in motion' readying gourmet meal and dessert orders for curbside pickup.
Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Students Lidia and Kailtyn safely work the line preparing to-go meals for Pino Alto patrons to order and pick up.
(Cabrillo College)

With classes offered at only $46 per unit and financial aid readily available, students can attend Cabrillo College for more than 70% less than the national average public tuition rate, and the majority of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management majors become employed before they graduate. Cabrillo graduates are prepared for successful career paths in restaurants, hotels, resorts, and even cruise ships, as chefs, cooks, servers, and managers. Other career options include food stylist, food photographer, food and travel writer, and restaurant critic. Cabrillo’s two-year Associate in Science degree program facilitates an ideal platform for new professionals to create the career of their dreams in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.