First Images from Paris---Students Prep with French Chefs

September 23, 2018

Public Information Officer


The first images are in from Paris. Eight first year St. Philip’s College students are in France celebrating National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week and National Historically Black College and Universities Week during Hispanic Heritage Month on a working business trip where this bevy of observances is being promoted globally. Their mission is to enhance the hub of France’s premiere foodie event with Texas-created Tex-Mex cuisine that is a globally competitive food industry staple---and to promote diversity and globalization as elements of America’s competitiveness.

The mission with a message of globalization and competitiveness is part of the college’s noted international exchange program with partner institution Lycee Guillaume Tirel culinary school in Paris. St. Philip’s College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department culinary arts students Rachel Danae Portzline, Deborah Weiss, Maria Carlin, Jose Angel Picon, Jennifer Velasco, Matthew Ode Smith, Jr., Rebecca Diann Anthony and Victoria Aurora Lozada Romero are representing the rising competitiveness of some of the best in American culinary culture during Gastronomy Week in the gastronomy capital of France with college faculty member Chef Patrick Costello.

St. Philip's College traditionally observes National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week with observance dates established by The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and because its 2018 HSI Week observance coincided with both the 120th anniversary of the college and the 300th anniversary of San Antonio, St. Philip's College dedicated resources for its President's Lecture Series project to theHispanic Heritage Month keynote speaking debut of entrepreneur and Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly for an overflow audience Sept. 20 at the college. While Shetterly was brilliantly holding down the diversity, globalization and competitiveness mission in San Antonio with her debut in this exciting process, the first-time-in-Paris culinary arts team of Portzline, Weiss, Carlin, Picon, Velasco, Smith, Anthony and Romero was carrying on a college tradition, and growing the college’s business in France.

In addition to the two major anniversaries, the college celebration with Shetterly and the Paris student project, the week had additional double significance at the college in 2018 as HBCU Week overlapped with HSI Week (Sept. 17-23) for the first time in memory at the world's only Historically Black College and Universities member institution with Hispanic Serving Institution status.

A typical Fêstival of Gastronomy features 11,000 events, nearly two million visitors, 61,000 banquets and picnics, and 350 initiatives abroad. The 2018 event is no exception, including St. Philip’s College’s anniversary and observance-filled effort that is shaping up as a successful and innovative bevy of initiatives both domestic and abroad.

"Today is our first day in the kitchen, and I am reaching out to share photos and videos of preparation with everyone in San Antonio," Costello wrote in a June 20 email. "Tomorrow is the event where we will serve the French public our items. As soon as I am able, I will start to forward images," Costello wrote.

The nationally-unique project runs from Sept. 16-26, so if anyone in San Antonio is planning to visit France this week, they might be able to get a tiny nibble of the best Texas offers, along with the rest of the world. Keep an eye out for the tasting images and more on the celebration at the college web page when the students and faculty return from their Paris experience.

For details on the exchange program while Chef Costello and his students are in-country in France, contact the department staff at 210-486-2315. (SPC courtesy images by Chef Patrick Costello)

CAPTIONS (Images courtesy Lycee Guillaume Tirel on Instagram):


01-04—Eight first-year students from St. Philip’s College’s Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department are in the lab as guests at partner college Lycee Guillaume Tirel in Paris on Sept. 20, representing American culinary culture and competitiveness during the 2018 version of Gastronomy Week, the country of France’s premiere foodie event. The college’s fourth class in this project returns to France at the end of the college’s bevy of celebrations coinciding with National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, National Historically Black College and Universities Week and Hispanic Heritage Month. The nationally-unique project runs from Sept. 16-26. (SPC courtesy images by Chef Patrick Costello)

About the St. Philip’s College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts department: The St. Philip’s College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts department provides five primary programs along with one full-time faculty member and multiple adjunct faculty members to work directly with students in each area. All five programs involve students in classroom-based learning experiences, as well as lab experience, and work-based learning during a practicum course. The culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and restaurant management programs have been acknowledged with an Exemplary rating from the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission. St. Philip’s College is one of only 25 schools worldwide with the commission’s Exemplary status and is rated Exemplary by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The 110-year-old St. Philip’s College hospitality professions programs typically graduate 100 students annually, and expansion is expected this decade when the college opens its $30 million Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center of Excellence building funded as part of a $450 million bond package approved by voters in May 2017 to both construct new Alamo College District facilities and renovate existing college buildings. Students graduating from the management programs: Hotel Management, Hospitality Management, and Restaurant Management are eligible to receive Certified Hospitality Graduate (CHG) certifications from the Accrediting Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration™. Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts students are eligible for Certification by the American Culinary Federation. The CHG is an industry-recognized professional certification that has been granted to only three hospitality programs in the state of Texas and only one program in the college’s service area. For information on registration in the college’s program, contact the department staff at 210-486-2315 or book reservations with the staff of the college’s student-operated restaurant by calling 210-486-2328.