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The Other Campus

Once a week, apprentices spend five hours in kitchen classrooms at WarrenTech, on the campus of Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood. This is where they learn how to calculate food cost for recipes, the basics of supervision, sanitation, and more. They also have time to master certain techniques—like poaching fish, or cooking eggs in a variety of ways—that would be impractical to hone in The Broadmoor’s kitchens. “At the resort, we can’t just say, ‘let’s try this recipe and then throw it away,’” says Reed. Because apprentices are working at The Broadmoor, there are times when the approximately three-hour drive to Lakewood and back makes for a tight turnaround in their schedules. But, in keeping with the apprenticeship principles of education within a real-life situation, missing class, or missing work because of class, isn’t an option. “Sometimes I’ll have a shift in the bakery that’s from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m.,” Strempke says. “I’ll finish at 11, go home and take a nap, wake up, get to school at 5 p.m., and get back home around 11 p.m. Then I have to be back at work at 3 a.m. again. Those days are hard, but I make it through because if you love what you do, it doesn’t really matter.” In addition to the classroom training, apprentices frequently take field trips with, “The goal always being to get them out and show them different farms, cattle and lamb, and what’s available here in Colorado that we can bring back to our kitchens,” says Eisenberger. Sinclair adds that, “In the middle of winter we’re learning how to cook with elk, for instance. We learn how to create through all the different seasons here.”

Real Recognition

Apprentices who complete the program will earn a Certified Cook title from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and a Journeyman Cook certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship. Also, through coursework and successful testing, each apprentice receives

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Getting a ProStart While the classrooms at WarrenTech are an integral part of the Apprenticeship Program, it’s another set of classrooms that funnel prospective candidates to The Broadmoor—at high schools that participate in ProStart. “It introduces kids to what our industry is all about,” says C.W. Craig Reed. ProStart is a national program for high school juniors and seniors that is the first step to a career in foodservice or hospitality.

Students take cooking classes, enter culinary competitions, and are mentored by foodservice professionals—which, in Colorado, include chefs from The Broadmoor. “Being a mentor gives us an opportunity to bridge these students to the industry, and then it gives us a chance to bridge them to our Apprenticeship Program,” Reed explains. Although not all apprentices come from ProStart, Strempke, Juevera, Sinclair, and 22-year old Leah Bailey were each recruited based on their ProStart achievements. “I got a scholarship for $4,000, and I was thinking about using it to help pay for tuition at a culinary school. But I decided to come to The Broadmoor, and that money covered the cost of the entire program, so I saved myself a lot of debt,” says Bailey, who completed her apprenticeship and has since been hired by The Broadmoor as a Banquet Cook Tournant, a title that means she’s versatile enough to work any banquet kitchen station.

a ServSafe certificate for sanitation, a certificate in nutrition recognized by the National Restaurant Association, and a foodservice management certificate recognized by the ACF. All five of these accomplishments are resume boosters in any culinary operation. While the Apprenticeship Program isn’t routinely promoted to guests, there are annual fundraising dinners at the resort. The proceeds help keep tuition low, supply textbooks and pay for travel to culinary competitions such as: A Salute to Escoffier, now in its tenth year; Taste of The Broadmoor, now in its sixth year; and the Rocky Mountain Chefs of Colorado Endowment Dinner, which alternates with a second location but was held at The Broadmoor this year, prepared entirely

by apprentices with Strempke as executive chef. On a day-to-day basis you’ll have to look closely—during Sunday brunch at the Lake Terrace Dining Room, or other places where cooks are visible— to spot the apprentices. The red, blue, and green neckerchiefs, for first, second and third-year apprentices, respectively, became part of the uniform in 2010, and guests have noticed. “They don’t realize that we go through every single kitchen and learn all the menus, so it’s nice to explain what we do,” says Strempke. “Quite a few people will come back and see us working the brunch and say, ‘I know you’re an apprentice. I can tell by your neckerchief.’ It’s really great that people acknowledge that.”

The Broadmoor Magazine 2011-2012  

The Broadmoor Resort is an historical marvel and legendary for its quality and service. Visit this unique resort and you'll understand the...

The Broadmoor Magazine 2011-2012  

The Broadmoor Resort is an historical marvel and legendary for its quality and service. Visit this unique resort and you'll understand the...