Treats from the bakery cart. Photo courtesy of the UAA Culinary Arts & Hospitality Administration.
You better order quickly because, as they say, the early bird catches the worm – and in this case, it’s carby goodness.
Since 2018, chef Vern Wolfram and the Culinary Arts A111 Bakery Skills Lab have been behind The Bakery Cart, a baking cart located in Lucy Cuddy Hall, which serves snacks on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Chef Kellie Puff said the class teaches the skills of commercial cooking and, in particular, increasing batch sizes.
Before COVID, the UAA community came in person to buy the baked goods, but with the pandemic, Puff said they “had to adapt” and bring their products online. During COVID, customers would do curbside pickup. Buying is competitive, she said, considering there is a limit to the food her class prepares.
“It opens at 10:45 a.m. and closes at 12:15 p.m., but it often sells out at 11 a.m.”
It is traditional for students to serve cookies and gravy on opening day. Puff said what they offer changes as students learn new skills throughout the semester, but there are “staples like cookies, brownies, scones and muffins” that are always on. offered.
“Sometimes a batch doesn’t come out quite right but still looks good, so students learn to back it up by turning it.”
One such item that transforms is the standard Ham and Cheese Croissant which can be transformed into Salty Monkey Bread.
On Wednesday, October 13, I sat in my car and logged in at 10:44 a.m. The website was not in action, and after a few tries I was on. Salty monkey breads, spanakopita turnovers and bowls of soup were ordered. Ordering was easy, but the website needed my credit card number. In the middle of the order, product availability was reduced and adjustments had to be made. I went to the sidewalk to meet the food artists who had prepared the food. After talking to the makers and professors, I took my order to my husband’s office. The smell of the food caused several colleagues to join us in the dining room where the food was unanimously pronounced “Delicious”.
Pickup is near the sandwich panel at Cuddy’s Entrance across from Lucy’s Rasmusen Hall. I spoke with some of The Bakery Cart customers. These included UAA staff, students and other members of the community.
A graduate of the culinary arts program, Briana Brown picked up her order and said she had “great memories” of the program, as evidenced by the warm greetings between her and former classmates. Roderick Horner, lab assistant to Chief Noah Miller, explained how he entered the program after graduating as an Army nurse. “I’ve served three rounds,” he said, “I’ve had great experiences, but I love to cook.”
Does the food sound good? Would you like to try it ? You better act fast – the last day of opening is October 20th. If you miss it this time, remember that The Bakery Cart opens two weeks into the new semester, every semester. Check out their website and be ready to pounce as soon as it opens.
The next phase of the Bakery Skills Lab takes students and the UAA community to Lucy’s, a culinary experience at Cuddy Hall, which opens Nov. 3. Seats are by reservation only, although online ordering is available at uaaculinaryarts.mobilebytes.com. Reservations for Lucy’s will be available by calling (907) 786-1122.