New Addition To The Wolfson Campus

Miami Dade College will open the doors to the Miami Culinary Institute, the first public program of its kind in South Florida, this January.

The building, located on the Wolfson Campus, began construction last July at a cost of $22 million and has eight stories.

It will include a café and lobby area, a high definition food and wine demonstration kitchen, three floors of kitchen laboratories and a fine dining restaurant overlooking the port of Miami.

The program plans to have 100 students by January, John Richards, the program’s director said.

“The mission was not just to open another culinary school,” Richards said. “The mission was to open something very special.”

It will include three major ingredients.

The program is the first public option south of Orlando; it’s expected to cost almost half  the price of a private school, and it will have a culinary enthusiasts program for those who are not full-time students.

The curriculum is being shaped by a chefs’ council that rounds some of the area’s top culinary artists. It includes Michael Schwartz from Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink; Michelle Bernstein from Michy’s; Norman Van Aken from Norman’s 180 in Coral Gables; and Philippe Ruiz the Executive Chef of Palm d’Or at the Biltmore Hotel.

It also plans to teach an environmentally sustainable approach to cooking.

“The facility has state-of-the-art food pulping systems and all the waste is pulped. One hundred pounds of food waste turns into 17 pounds of compost.” Richards said.

After completing the program, students will receive an Associate of Science degree in culinary arts management and will be prepared for jobs as prep cooks, line cooks, and sous chefs. It later plans to expand its program to include bakers and pastry chefs.

The Miami Culinary Institute will also take a part in assuring future jobs for their graduates.

“We will be engaging in a business that will be able to employ many of our students in food service,” Richards said.

For more information, contact Miami Culinary Institute Director John Richards at (305) 237-7024 or visit