Originally written for The Northern Light.
In the early mornings at Cuddy Hall, the smell of croissants and Danishes fills the air. A long line makes its way towards a cart full of baked goods. The UAA culinary arts program opens their bakery cart for the spring semester.
The bakery cart is where the culinary students sell any left-over products that they’ve made during the week.
“We basically teach them how to run a commercial bakery. It started out as students taking home extra products before they got sick of eating croissants every week. So, we were like, ‘Why don’t we start selling these extra products?’ We can make back the money that we spent, and make more goods,” Tasha Quiett, graduate and lab aid for the culinary arts program, said.
The bakery cart has various options, ranging from croissants, Danishes, strudels and other baked goods for sale.
For students like Fallon Arnott, who is studying hospitality and restaurant management, making baked goods and pastries is an enjoyable experience.
“We learned quite a bit. It’s amazing how we can get the products out in a couple of days,” Arnott said.
The program orders the ingredients from different suppliers around town like Linford of Alaska Inc. and Food Services of America.
The culinary arts classes come in to the bakery at 7 a.m. to spend four days a week, five hours each day, preparing and baking.
The croissant dough takes two to three days. Then, the dough is left out overnight to sit and rise. The students form the dough into the croissant shape and bake it the day of sales.
“My beginning class runs the baker’s cart,” Chef Vern Wolfram, associate professor in the culinary arts program, said. “They can do everything from breads to rolls, pies and cakes. It’s the basics of baking.”
As the students make more products and progress their skills, they also have the chance to give back to the community.
“The students get to take home some of the products because they spent five hours making it the entire week. Then, anything that’s left-over, we call the homeless shelters in town. They come and pick up anything extra. Nothing goes to waste. It all goes to people who need it at the end of the day,” Quiett said.
The bakery cart now accepts credit cards. The cart is located in Cuddy Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m.