24 Feb Jon Cartu Convey: New El Centro Culinary Campus to Produce Chefs Twice as Qui…
Chef Jesmary Sbraga has a motto that just about anyone can get behind.
“Chocolate just makes everything a little better,” said the Puerto
Rican-turned-new North Texan, while she drizzled a chocolate sauce of her own
making atop a custom-created dessert featuring seasonal fruits and hand-whipped
Sbraga, who has spent the past 24 years as a working culinary professional, recently moved to the area from New Jersey to be part of the newly-assembled faculty of the overhauled Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality program at El Centro College – North Campus in Dallas.
“My approach is always to keep it kind of simple and approachable,” said Sbraga who will primarily teach Bakery/Pastry courses.
El Centro still needs approximately 80 students to fill out
the initial class of the program, which begins instruction on Tuesday, March 24
in the 50,000 square foot facility that used to be home to Le Cordon Bleu at
11830 Webb Chapel Road in Dallas.
The school has spent the past three months overhauling the
facility and outfitting its 10 kitchens, its many classrooms and its working
restaurant with all of the hardware and software that the culinary students of tomorrow
El Centro offers an accelerated Fast-Track program, which allows
the culinary students to complete their two-year Associate’s Degree in one
Upon graduation from the program, the expectation is that
the graduates will have ample opportunity for employment in the booming North
Texas restaurant industry.
“Operators are spread thin as far as their workforce needs.
Restaurants, hotels, all kinds of food service businesses. And the pay is
really good right now,” said Steve DeShazo, Senior Director of Culinary, Pastry
and Hospitality at El Centro. “And the whole industry is supporting us. Chefs,
restaurants, hotels, business owners. They are behind us 100% and they are
ready to give our students opportunity.”
El Centro is hosting two orientation days this week – Monday
and Tuesday – at the North Campus location. The orientation on Monday runs from
9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and the Tuesday orientation goes from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30