Student Chef Bruce Lee | Goodwill Corporate

Helms College Students Cook Up a Connection with Augusta University Arts Incubator Students

Helms College Culinary faculty and students hosted a student group from Augusta University on Friday, Feb. 15 for a lesson in French-inspired cooking in the Helms College Culinary Lab.

Arts Incubator Living Learning Community students at AU have the option to attend several arts-related programs throughout the year. The purpose is to foster a sense of connection and camaraderie among the students, to expose them to a broad range of the arts, introduce them to prominent members and organizations in the Augusta community and to provide them with opportunities to practice and hone their interpersonal skills.

“When I was recruiting students to the program, one of them mentioned her love of cooking and she showed me photos on her phone of some beautiful dishes she had created,” said Dr. Wesley Kisting, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “That gave me the idea to reach out to Helms College to make the culinary arts one of our focal points. It was important to me that they experience a wide range of arts, not just visual art.”

Kisting and 11 of his students were welcomed by eight Helms College culinary students and faculty, with the group creating a menu of Coq Au Vin and Crepes Suzette.

“Food is one of those things that people love but often take for granted and rarely think of as ‘art,’” explained Kisting. “But of course it is an art, and I knew the students would be intrigued by learning about it in that way.”

In the fall, chefs from Helms College visited the AU Arts Incubator Living Learning Community dorm to cook with students, and Kisting noted the two events held in conjunction with Helms College this academic year have been among the most popular with his students. 

“It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day as a student and forget just how much knowledge you’re accumulating along the way,” noted Chef Kathleen Vossenberg, Director of Culinary Education at Helms College. “But in moments like this, where our students are guiding someone else through the cooking methods, they begin to realize how far they’ve come in just a few months since enrolling at Helms College. I could see the spark in their eyes and how proud they were of themselves. It makes me very proud too.”