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Mitchell Culinary Arts graduates standing together for a group photo.

Culinary Arts graduates celebrated with inaugural Ceremony

Mitchell’s Culinary Arts program hosted its first ever “Toque Ceremony” for graduating culinary arts students. The ceremony is named for the tall, white, pleated traditional chef’s hat that students received during the ceremony to signify their completion of the program.

Traditionally, the height of a chef’s hat was meant to mark their rank in the kitchen, with the most executive chef wearing the tallest hat. In its history, the pleats of the toque hat are thought to have represented how many techniques or recipes a chef had achieved. Although the history of the toque hat is a fascinating one, in modern day, a chef’s hat does not hold so much meaning; most chefs prefer to wear a style and type of hat that they are most comfortable with. However, for Mitchell’s recent culinary arts graduates, the toque hat was a symbol for completion of the program.

Students were called one by one, with their instructor Chef Bob Williams, placing a toque hat upon their head. Graduating students were Kashmyr Adler, Joshua Anderson, Jessica Briceño, Christopher Daniels, Abigail Granger, Jazmin Summers, and Zeke Barcenas.

Dr. Tim Brewer, President of Mitchell Community College, Dr. J.J. McEachern, VP for Student Services, and Randy Ledford, VP for Learning, were all present to congratulate the students.

“The best thing you can be is curious, humble, and on time,” said Chef Bob, as he offered students words of wisdom to prepare them for their future journey in the culinary field. “Take care of your knives, your dishwashers, and your fellow chefs. Write everything down and don’t be too proud to take out the trash and do a little extra prep. You have something to learn from everyone.”