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Culinary Apprenticeship At BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel Graduates World-Class Chefs

BUFFALO, N.Y. (April 12, 2007) — Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts’ long-standing commitment to excellence in the culinary arts can be found in an elegant five-course dinner or a filling family lunch at any of its resort properties and vacation destinations. At The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel, the American Culinary Foundation (ACF) National Apprenticeship Training Program for Cooks and Pastry Cooks passes the tradition onto student chefs by providing expert training and applied experience necessary for jobs in the world’s best kitchens.

The rigorous program, which has been in existence at The BALSAMS since 1978 and graduated 44 chefs in that time, includes three years of training, an intense technical classroom program, six externships, and a minimum of 6,000 hours of applied experience in the kitchen to prepare students to please palates of even the most discriminating diners. Graduates with such extensive training and experience are well-positioned to secure the most desired jobs in the profession. While some graduating chefs have elected to grow their careers at The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel, others have flourished at some of the nation’s most prestigious resorts, hotels and restaurants, including The Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite National Park, and the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimates indicate that job openings for chefs, cooks and food preparation workers are expected to be plentiful through 2014. However, the competition will be keen for jobs in the top kitchens of higher-end restaurants, making top-notch training a must for aspiring chefs.

"The BALSAMS’ program ensures that each apprentice gains the experience needed to not only become a contributing chef, but to eventually lead a culinary staff that operates under an unparalleled degree of professionalism and artistry," said Chef Roland Henin, C.M.C., corporate chef at Delaware North Companies.

Throughout the three-year program, a student’s curriculum includes nutrition, menu planning and design, advanced food preparation and food-cost accounting. There is some flexibility in terms of how the courses are mapped out, but sanitation and safety are

always taught at the beginning of the program. Under the judicious eye of senior chefs and mentors, students benefit from applying their classroom studies in the kitchen as they prepare cuisine for real-life diners throughout all areas of the BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel, including: the award-winning BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel dining room, coffee shop, golf clubhouse, ski area restaurant and the staff kitchen.

In 2000, members of The BALSAMS apprenticeship team placed first in the state of New Hampshire’s ACF-sponsored event, and later earned a gold medal in the Northeast Regional championship.

"The BALSAMS Culinary Apprenticeship allowed me to leave with a resume and the experience that could be the envy of many working chefs," said Beth Brown, chef de partie at The BALSAMS and former apprentice. "We trained in all areas of food preparation, gained competitive cooking experience and completed externships at premier hotels and restaurants when The BALSAMS closed for the season. And, because of a great partnership with the New Hampshire Community Technical College, we also have the opportunity to obtain an associates degree in culinary arts."

The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel was recently named to the 2007 Condé Nast Gold List — its dining room being one of only two hotels in the country and nine worldwide to earn a perfect score. 

About the American Culinary Foundation Apprenticeship
The American Culinary Foundation Apprenticeship at The BALSAMS is one of only 90 or so ACF-approved apprenticeships in existence in the United States. Founded in 1976, it is a three-year, paid training program that provides a blended curriculum of classroom learning, hands-on production and industry experience for those who want to become chefs and pastry chefs. Since their beginning, ACF-approved apprenticeships have graduated more than 20,000 trained apprentices with nearly 2,000 apprentices currently registered.