Hospitality leadership at Desert Vista plans to reopen catering branch in October

Pima Post

It is no secret that the Desert Vista Campus is well known for its Culinary Arts and Hospitality program.

However, the recent renovations to the campus’ kitchen and dining area have left the program unable to take orders or host catering events.

This is set to change in the Fall, according to Jewel J. Mideau, academic director of hospitality leadership. 

Starting Oct. 21, the student-run service will resume catering operations with an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, including brioche french toast, traditional scrambled eggs, barbacoa lunch buffet and a taco bar.

Jerome Camacho, 40, and Shelby McFarlane, 29, are full-time chefs in the Culinary Arts program. They said that the catering options will be limited to staff events for now, but they  eventually will open to students and the community.

Camacho said there currently are 300 to 400 people participating in the Culinary Arts Program.

“It’s closer to 900 if you count dual-enrollment and the other programs (i.e. hospitality and hotel),” Camacho said.

Class sizes related to the program are limited to 15 students per class, and volunteer workers from the community involve themselves in the program as well.

For those who are craving the delectable food from the student-run cafe at Desert Vista Campus Cafe, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Camacho said that the cafe will reopen soon, but an actual date is not yet available. 

Despite the kitchens running again, construction and other setbacks have left the reopening of the café in limbo. 

The Culinary department has come a long way.

“We’ve been able to change the program to better it for our students and send them out into the work industry,” Camacho said.