The kitchen is closed at the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Hartford after 30 years of training professional chefs.
What began as a hobbyist cooking school in Farmington before moving to Sigourney Street has trained close to 7,000 men and women. At its height, close to 500 students filled the school’s seven state of the art teaching kitchens.
But, the school says it is closing because of a federal law change that prohibits graduates from non-degree institutions like Lincoln from spending more than 8 percent of their income paying back student loans. Chef Jamie Roraback, who has been there since 1995, says other institutions of learning need to pick up the slack.
“There's going to have to be some place where the gap is going to be taken up, whether it's the high school level. Community colleges, I hope, step up to it a little bit more,” said Roraback.
Roraback says that students who want to continue to practice culinary education can do so at an affiliated campus in Shelton. Lincoln’s final Hartford class of about 70 students will graduate on Jan. 14, 2017. Roraback says he does not know what will become of the building they are vacating at 85 Sigourney Street.
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