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School to Feature Pacific Rim Foods

March 22, 1990|BARBARA HANSEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Asian and Hispanic cuisines will receive major emphasis in the curriculum of the Los Angeles International Culinary Institute, which is projected to open in January, 1991.

"We'll try to create a network of (international) exchange for the instructors," said Raimund Hofmeister, institute president, during a pre-renovation open house at the school site in Santa Monica. "We want to concentrate on the Pacific Rim, number one."

This represents a shift from the European emphasis of most culinary schools. The institute will also provide its students with "a good understanding of traditional European cooking," Hofmeister said, but will move on from there. "I think we have the responsibility to introduce them to Hispanic cuisine and to Oriental cuisine. We have a lot of Oriental people. It's not fair that we ignore that," he said.

Space for the institute has been leased in Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade after a search of several years. Previous sites considered included the Grand Central Market building in downtown Los Angeles. That site was rejected because the rent was too high, Hofmeister said.

Institute facilities will include an indoor-outdoor restaurant, cafe and deli, bakery, chocolate room, a chef's dining room, wine cellar and butcher shop on the ground floor. The mezzanine will be used for storage. Instructional kitchens and a student dining room are planned for the second floor.

Construction is expected to begin after July. Several permits have yet to be obtained, but Santa Monica city mayor Dennis Zane foresees no problem in obtaining city permission. "It (the institute) fits very well into the planning objectives for the promenade. I will be a very strong advocate," he said at the open house.

Hofmeister, who has spearheaded the establishment of the institute, is executive chef of the Century Plaza Hotel and Western regional vice president of the American Culinary Federation. Andrew N. Cothran has been named chief operating officer and dean of academic affairs. Cothran led in establishing the Culinary School of Kendall College and, until recently, was Kendall president. Anne T. Faulkner is director of marketing, promotion and student recruitment. For information on enrollment in the institute's 16-month culinary training program, call Faulkner at (213) 393-9222 after April 1.

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