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In the Kitchen (and on iTunes) With Steve DeShazo

This article appeared in a January 2018 issue of the student newsletter. 

Have you ever thought about enrolling in a culinary or hospitality program, but haven't been sure what you'd be getting into? You don't have to wonder anymore. Put your headphones on and let El Centro's Steve DeShazo tell you why enrolling is a great decision. 

Last month, Steve was a guest on the podcast "Wining & Dining With Jim White." The podcast discusses El Centro's Food and Hospitality Institute, where Steve serves as program director. 

“I want to help people find a career in an industry that I love,” says Steve. “A meaningful career that they love and they can be passionate about.” 

Students choose between three programs in the Institute:  

  • Bakery/Pastry
  • Culinary Arts
  • Food and Hospitality Service

Steve gave the basic information about the associate degree programs — 60 credit hours over five semesters — but he also dove into another key part about the program: the work ethic of its students.

“Most of our students work [in the industry] in addition to coming to school, which, frankly, is a very important part of studying culinary arts,” says Steve. “You need that repetitious practice. So many of our students take more than two years to complete our program … so there's lots of flexibility with the way our classes are scheduled.” 

One of the goals Steve talks about in the podcast is his desire to build on what the program has established over the last 40-plus years by acquiring more facilities to match up with the 26% job growth in the food and hospitality industry in Dallas County. 

Steve also goes over the institute's apprenticeship program, alumni success stories, his path to El Centro and his inspirations. 

You can listen to the full half hour podcast online or on iTunes. You can also learn more about El Centro's Food and Hospitality program on their website at

Make Your Tongue Happy

Want to taste what El Centro's students are cooking? 

Make a reservation for an upcoming meal. If you can't get seats (which are in high demand), plan on attending their annual Bits and Bites event on April 15, 2018. Dallas' best chefs will be ready to serve you at the Dallas Arboretum! Stay tuned to the student newsletter for details once ticket sales open.