Culinary Arts Program

Culinary Arts and Le Bistro Restaurant

A dash of this, a sprinkle of that, a teaspoon here, and a cup there.  Great restaurants are known for their chefs, and the Culinary Arts Program at Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center is known for exceptional culinary instruction in a setting that combines classroom learning with valuable on-the-job training and experience.

Meet the Instructor

Mark Luepnitz, or “Chef L” as the students refer to him, brings to Sno-Isle TECH an impressive culinary background.  He attended The Culinary Institute of America where he earned his AOS degree, and Temple University for his CTE Certification.  Prior to arriving in Northwest Washington, Luepnitz taught Culinary Arts for 9 years at Lehigh Career & Technical Institute in Pennsylvania.  Through previous experience he has gained a wide variety of chef experience working in 4 star hotel restaurants, private restaurants, large university catering events, and even serving as a private chef to a university sorority. He has also worked with notable chefs such as Rick Bayless, Joyce Goldstien and Francois de Melogue.

Program Background

The Culinary Arts program at Sno-Isle TECH allows the students to experience and learn how to run a real working restaurant – Le Bistro.  Working in our on-campus restaurant gives students a glimpse of the skills needed to manage a restaurant and a business.  Beyond marketable skills learned through a working restaurant, successful students of the program can earn up to 11 college credits for this course through the EdCC CTE Dual Credit program for Culinary Arts.

Culinary Arts combines a culinary classroom curriculum with on-the-job training in a commercial setting through participation in the kitchen, at Le Bistro and through onsite catering.  Students will receive expert instruction in proper kitchen procedures, top-level restaurant operations, exceptional baking and food production, how to run a successful banquet and catering service, and how to exceed the customer’s expectations with extraordinary customer service.  Students will leave the culinary program prepared for employment or further enrollment at a culinary college.

For more information on the Culinary Arts program, visit the class page.

Culinary Arts Learning Objectives

Leadership is a skill required to succeed in a career, and every day students will be required to demonstrate strong leadership and workplace skills: prompt attendance, professional and respectful behavior, problem solving, working with diverse groups, and strong communication.  Kitchens thrive on hard work, discipline, and teamwork. All students will be expected to be on task and contributing to the work of the kitchen, following all safety and sanitation regulations, interacting with classmates and staff in a respectful manner, and be willing to jump in to assist with tasks as needed.

Beyond learning on-the-job skills, students have the potential opportunity to enter a Skills USA competition.

SkillsUSA is a student leadership organization that includes teachers, high school and college students, and industry partners who are working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Participation in SkillsUSA will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills, team building, and communication and presentation skills.  In addition to 21st century skills, students will have the opportunity to participate in both leadership and technical competitions which have been developed by industry.

Dress Code/Uniform Requirement

Students will be working in a commercially operated kitchen and in regular contact with the public.  They will be expected to maintain safe, clean and professional standards of dress at all times.  Dress requirements will change based on the type of event, and the judgment of the staff as to the appropriateness of student dress and/or decorum is final.  Every day each student is expected to wear a clean chef coat, black or white button shirt and tie, a clean chef hat, closed toe shoes with a rubber sole and heels not to exceed 1 inch, skid resistant, and clean black pants or black chef pants covering the entire leg.  This dress ensures students are prepared, ready to learn, and understand the minimum professional standard required by top-level restaurants and caterers.

Additional Class Information

  • High School Credits Earned: 3
  • Equivalency Credit: Science 1.0
  • Dual Credits: CLART 121, CLART 131, CLART 141, CLART 181, CLART 207
  • Session Times – 7:55 AM – 10:25 AM and 11:10 AM – 1:40PM (Monday – Friday)
  • Course Materials:
  • Students will provide: a notebook, writing utensils, highlighters, and a calculator

Additional Lab Fees & Required Uniform 

  • $10.00 – Washington State Food Handlers Card (Must be obtained before the first day of class.) Please communicate with Chef if you already have a Food Handlers Card.
  • $20.00 general lab fee.
  • $10.25: XS-L chef’s coat XL and up $12.25 (Recommendation: purchase 2 coats)
  • $6.25: chef’s hat
  • $15.00: chef’s apron & side towels
  • $5.00: embroidery for each coat
  • Black non-Skid, closed toe shoes with a rubber sole and heels not to exceed 1 inch, skid resistant
  • White or black button shirt and tie for front of the House Service *** PM Only **
  • $36.00: ServSafe Manager Certification (not mandatory)

On-Campus Le Bistro Restaurant Opening Soon

The exceptional dining experience on Sno-Isle TECH’s campus is opening for lunch Tuesday through Thursday beginning October 15th.  Le Bistro, the student-run fine dining establishment, will be offering daily specials plus standard items available any day of the week they are open.  Le Bistro is a chance for students to bring their classroom knowledge into a working kitchen, restaurant, and customer service environment.  It is a challenge to constantly learn about new techniques and ingredients, while offering a selection of made-to-order sandwiches, salads and burgers.  The students prepare as much as possible from scratch, and offer extremely reasonable pricing for the high quality of food that is served.

For more general information on the restaurant, click here.

If your favorite student has wanted to learn from an exceptional instructor, earn credits for a culinary college after high school, and work in a fast-paced restaurant, the Culinary Arts program at Sno-Isle TECH is exactly what they are looking for.