CNM culinary arts program expands

Posted at: 10/17/2013 5:56 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

For nearly two decades, CNM has had one of the only accredited culinary arts programs in New Mexico. But for most of that time students have learned to cook in a small space on campus. Now they have a brand new building that rivals any culinary school in the country and a new degree program.

The culinary arts students are here for a new opportunity. Before she started spending her days in a chef's apron, Rebecca Bonsal already had a job. In fact, she had a great job.  

"I was a banker. I was a loan officer for one of the banks here locally," Bonsal said.

But she wanted to do something more creative than banking. So she joined the CNM Culinary Arts School.  This is not just advanced home economics. It's a fully accredited culinary arts school. And Bonsal is happy for the opportunity.  

"They're teaching just like the huge culinary art schools. Everything you can learn for $40,000 we are learning here."

Recently, in coordination with New Mexico State University, the school started to offer a bachelor's degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism management. That just so happens to be one of the biggest revenue generating industries for the state of New Mexico. And the school's Dean, Donna Diller, is excited to be in the new building.

"That's a great opportunity again for the students to not only get a two year degree, but continue on with that four year degree and support those positions in the industry in management," Diller said.

Now, with a new and improved culinary school and a four year degree, they're hoping to turn out not only managers, but entrepreneurs. Bonsal the former banker dreams of being her own boss and owning her own bakery someday.