While most people know Cambridge for being home to Harvard and MIT, it is also home to a professional culinary arts school known as the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (CSCA). Endorsed by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), the school offers a number of certificate and professional programs along with one-day classes available to the general public throughout the year.
The History of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
Founded in 1974 by Roberta L. Dowling, CCP, the school originally consisted primarily of classes in classical European cookery offered from her home. As the program expanded, however, Dowling moved the program to its current location at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue. The school grew quickly, with over 400 students enrolled in the school by the 1980s.
With the school growing at such a rapid pace, Dowling decided to apply for accreditation. By 1981, it was accredited by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Education. In 1989, it was accredited by the National Association of Trade and Technical Schools (NATTS).
Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Programs
The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of its students. Professional programs offered at the school include:
- Professional Chefs Program – a 37-week program consisting of 20 hours of instruction per week
- Professional Pastry Program – a 37-week program with 20 hours of instruction per week provided by French Master Pastry Chef Delphin Gomes
- Certificate Pastry Program – a 16-week program with 19 hours of instruction per week headed by French Master Pastry Chef Delphin Gomes
- Culinary Certificate Program – a 16-week program with 19 hours of instruction per week
The school also offers a variety of recreational classes for amateur cooks and professionals to enjoy. Some of the recreational programs that are typically offered include:
- Ethnic cookery
- Gluten-free cooking
- Knife skills
- Multi-day basic cooking classes
- Preparing classical sauces
Several different topics are offered throughout the year, so it is a good idea to keep checking back with the school if interested in a recreational program offering. The school has also offered culinary excursions throughout the years that are geared toward both amateurs and professional chefs. Some of the trips offered in the past have traveled to places such as San Marino and Umbria in Italy and Beijin, Shanghai, Suzhou and Xi’an in Hong Kong.
The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts has produced a number of notable alumni who have made a name for themselves in the food industry. Among these are:
- Steve Fillippo: Graduated in the class of ’84 and is the Chef and CEO of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse with locations in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. He is also the TV host of “Dish it Up” on the Emmy Award Winning Show StyleBoston.
- Craig “Andy” Beardslee: Graduated in the class of ’88 and is the Executive Chef of Hash House a go go in San Diego, California
- Nuno Souza: Graduated in the class of ’02 and is the owner of Off Broadway Diner in Taunton, Massachusetts