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Oregon Coast Culinary Institute’s Summer Lunches and Restaurant Service Returns

Oregon Coast Culinary Institute’s Summer Lunches and Restaurant Service Returns

Coos Bay, OR – Diners and community members are invited to once again indulge at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI) as it brings back its highly anticipated summer lunches and restaurant service. These events provide students with valuable real-world experience as they prepare to enter the culinary field.

Over the course of select dates during three weeks in July and August, these student-run events will offer various dining experiences for the community. Each week features a different type of dining, allowing students to utilize OCCI’s new food truck and gain experience in a restaurant setting.

Weekly Dining Experiences: 

To make your reservation for a Week 2 or Week 3 luncheon, please email shawn.warren@socc.edu or call 541-888-1540.

Week 1 (July 23-25): “Food Truck Extravaganza” and La Patisserie Bakery

Enjoy lunch options from OCCI’s new food truck and pizza oven, with freshly baked delights available from La Patisserie bakery.

No Reservations Necessary: Indoor seating is on a first-come, first-served basis; seated orders will not be taken.

Dates: Tuesday, July 23, Wednesday, July 24, and Thursday, July 25

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

 

Week 2 (July 30 – Aug. 1): Summer Restaurant and La Patisserie Bakery

Dine at tables and order from a three-course menu, with freshly baked delights from La Patisserie bakery also available.

Reservations Highly Encouraged: Reservations start at 11:00 a.m. with final seating at 1:30 p.m. No groups over eight people. Walk-ins are not guaranteed and depend on available seating.

Dates: Tuesday, July 30, Wednesday, July 31, and Thursday, August 1
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

 

Week 3 (Aug. 6-8): Summer Restaurant and La Patisserie Bakery

Dine at tables and order from a three-course menu, with freshly baked delights from La Patisserie bakery also available. Note: this menu will be different from the menu available on Week 2.

Reservations Highly Encouraged: Reservations start at 11:00 a.m. with final seating at 1:30 p.m. No groups over eight people. Walk-ins are not guaranteed and depend on available seating.

Dates: Tuesday, August 6, Wednesday, August 7, and Thursday, August 8
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

 

We hope you join us for these unique dining experiences! Your participation supports the next generation of culinary professionals. For more information about OCCI and the degrees and certificates offered, visit www.socc.edu/occi.

Southwestern celebrates 25th Anniversary of the award-winning OCCI – June 29

Southwestern celebrates 25th Anniversary of the award-winning OCCI – June 29

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College is excited to invite our community, students, and alumni to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the award-winning Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI) at a very special event. Join us for a culinary extravaganza on Saturday, June 29, 2024, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Bristol Event Center, 481 Bennett Ave., Coos Bay. Seating is available by reservation only. The cost is $95 per person or $700 for a table of eight. OCCI alumni who have graduated from either the Culinary or Baking & Pastry programs receive a discounted rate of $50 per person.

Take a trip down memory lane with us, reminiscing about our humble beginnings at an off-campus facility to this year’s incredible achievement of winning Culinary Olympic medals. Our culinary program has become a beacon of quality education, and our facility a beloved gathering place for the community. It’s been an incredible journey. Southwestern wants to share this momentous occasion with long-time friends and supporters.

Come enjoy live music by jazz singer Shaymus Hanlin, stellar ice carvings, mouth-watering food stations, a silent auction, and the company of current and former students and visiting guest chefs.

Proceeds from the silent auction will go toward funding state-of-the-art culinary equipment and scholarships for students. There will be a no-host bar.

Please note: Our celebration will be held at the Bristol Event Center, not our facility on the SWOCC campus. Holding our celebration at an off-campus event space gives our students real-world experience in catering special events.

To secure reservations for this event contact Shawn Warren at shawn.warren@socc.edu or call 541-888-7309.

OCCI hosts 2024 Winemaker’s Dinner with Willamette Valley Vineyards – May 4, 2024

OCCI hosts 2024 Winemaker’s Dinner with Willamette Valley Vineyards – May 4, 2024

COOS BAY, OR — Experience an evening of culinary excellence and exquisite wines as the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute and Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation present the 2024 Winemakers’ Dinner on Saturday, May 4.

OCCI chefs present at the winemakers dinner

OCCI chefs present at the winemakers dinner.

The Winemakers’ Dinner immerses guests in an evening of conversation and storytelling with premier Oregon winery Willamette Valley Vineyards. Scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m., at OCCI, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, the menu will pair six wines with the fine cuisine of award-winning OCCI Executive Chef Randy Torres and his student chefs. This multi-course meal will feature carefully crafted food and wine pairings that highlight the unique and complimentary attributes of spectacular Northwest cuisine.

Sit down among friends and listen as the storytelling starts relating the tale of Willamette Vineyards’ creator Jim Bernau’s dream to develop an old orchard overcome with blackberry vines into a world class winery known for producing the finest Pinot Noirs. The conversation will touch on propagation, terroir and the art of fermentation. Today, Willamette Valley Vineyards grows grapes in five regions and has assembled a team of winemakers who bring experiences from throughout the West Coast wine industry to create a wide array of award-winning wines.

The event is a collaborative fundraiser to showcase the skills of the college’s Culinary Competition Team and assist the college’s culinary program with investing in equipment. Having participated in the World Culinary Olympics this year, Chef Torres and his student chefs will talk about their experiences and their creative thoughts in creating the menu.

OCCI executive chef Randy Torres demonstrates plating to student chefs, prepping for the winemaker dinner.

OCCI executive chef Randy Torres demonstrates plating to student chefs.

“It’s important to know that we invest 100% of the funds raised from tickets to this event directly into top-quality equipment for our kitchens,” said Chef Torres. “Likewise, being able to hire the finest chef instructors and inspire excellence in our students is a direct result of the college and community’s commitment to our students.”

Tickets for this fundraising event are $190 per person. Seating is limited.  “We are grateful for this support and ultimately being able to support the local economy and provide excellent chefs for the tourism and culinary industries,” Torres said.

For more information or to purchase seats, please contact the Southwestern Foundation at (541) 888-7209, email foundation@socc.edu. or go to www.socc.edu/give.

Culinary students excel on USA Olympic team

Culinary students excel on USA Olympic team

From Coos Bay USA to Stuttgart Germany, eight student chefs and Executive Chef Randy Torres brought the award-winning spirit of Southwestern’s Oregon Coast Culinary Institute to the IKA/Culinary Olympics in February.

OCCI students joined other aspiring chefs from across the country on the USA Junior National Team. The excitement was intense with this being the first major competition for most students. “This event is amazing! It connects young chefs with people who can help further their careers for the rest of their lives,” OCCI student chef Brooklyn Hansen said. 

image of a plate of desserts

The 26th international culinary sport competition featured teams from 55 nations and more than 1,200 participants. It’s the oldest, largest, and most international culinary competition in the industry. 

The USA National Team, comprising professional chefs from across the nation and coached by OCCI Executive Chef Randy Torres, brought home an overall Silver Medal.

“It’s wonderful being involved in the camaraderie that IKA fosters. This competition is a unique adventure for students and SWOCC is proud to be a part of it. It’s a pivotal experience that changed the direction of my life when I participated on a team in 2008.”  – Chef Torres

image of three chefs working in a commercial kitchen with plates on a counter in front of them

The USA Junior Team, all 25 or younger, participated in two competitions. They earned a Bronze Medal in the “Restaurant of Nations,” a three-course menu for 110 people, and brought home Silver in the “Junior Chef’s Table,” a five-course menu for ten people.

OCCI hosted both teams’ practice sessions as they prepared for Stuttgart. It was extremely valuable training for our students to work alongside and learn from the finest professional chefs from around the country.

Congratulations Chef Torres and OCCI students!

 

 

 

Pictured front row: Elena Smith, Liam T. O’ Brien, Jesone Khantikone, Brooklyn Hansen, Oliver Cowan, Chef Randy Torres

Back row: Maxwell R. Smith, Maddison Valdez, Paige Hoene

Oregon Coast Culinary School’s Chef Instructor Chris Foltz featured on recent Oregon Field Guide episode

Oregon Coast Culinary School’s Chef Instructor Chris Foltz featured on recent Oregon Field Guide episode

Enter the captivating world of competitive ice carving through “From Oregon to Alaska: An ice sculpting odyssey” an Oregon Field Guide exclusive short film profiling Chef Chris Foltz, Chef Instructor here at Southwestern’s Oregon Coast Culinary Institute.

The episode, which aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting on December 7, 2023, showcases Chef Foltz’s artistry, dedication, and passion for the craft. We get a behind the scenes look at this world-famous competition and watch the joy and excitement of the student carvers creating their unique pieces as well.

Regarding the competition, Chef Foltz says, “Alaska, it’s so far away. It costs a lot to get there, it’s an immense amount of work, and then when you get there, all of your work is going to melt away. But as a professional artist, it’s the one place that I get to go and do whatever I want to do.”

Stay tuned for updates as Chef Foltz and a new crop of student carvers prepares for this year’s World Ice Art Championship “Ice Alaska” in February.

 

Scholarship Applications Open for the 2024-25 Academic Year

Scholarship Applications Open for the 2024-25 Academic Year

Coos Bay, OR – The Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation is pleased to announce the annual scholarship application period is now open. Any credit-seeing student thinking of attending Southwestern during the 2024-25 academic year is encouraged to apply January 1 – March 1, 2024, at www.socc.edu/scholarships.

With just one application, both part-time and full-time students can apply to more than 100 scholarships offered. Applications submitted by 11:59 pm on February 1, 2024, will be eligible to qualify for a $1,000 “early bird” scholarship. All scholarship applications are due by 11:59 pm on March 1, 2024. There are no exceptions to this strict deadline.

Thanks to generous donors in our local communities, the Southwestern Foundation awards more than $250,000 in scholarships annually to support students pursuing their education at Southwestern.

All information is available at www.socc.edu/scholarships. For additional help, join one of our drop-in Financial Aid and Scholarship workshops. Representatives will be on-site, readily available to address questions and walk students through various aspects of applying.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Drop-In Workshop Dates:

  • Coos Campus, Tioga 301 (1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay):
    • January 26th @ 2 – 4 pm
    • January 29th @ 11 – 1 pm
    • January 31st @ 5 – 7 pm
    • February 9th @ 4 – 6 pm
    • February 14th @ 11 – 1 pm
    • February 28th @ 2 – 4 pm
  • Curry Campus (96082 Lone Ranch Parkway, Brookings):
    • January 25th @ 10:30 – 2:30 pm
    • February 12 @ 10:30 – 2:30 pm

Guided by a board of community volunteers, the Southwestern Foundation organized as a nonprofit organization in 1962, the year after the college started. Since then, thousands of students have attended the college using Foundation scholarships. These awards help students achieve their goals, by breaking down barriers and cultivating the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators in local communities, the state and around the world. If you are interested in donating to Southwestern Foundation scholarships visit www.socc.edu/give or call 541-888-7211 for additional information.

For any additional inquiries about the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation scholarships, please reach out via email at foundation@socc.edu or by phone at 541-888-7209.

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