ON THE MENU — Lamar State shows off culinary arts building, plans for public bistro in fall

Published 12:28 am Saturday, May 7, 2022

Lamar State College-Port Arthur is opening the doors to what will soon be an eatery for all. The school hosted an open house event for the new culinary arts building this week.

The building will also house Bistro 549, set to open this fall when classes return.

A stream of people flowed in and out of what once was The Port Arthur News building near the police station in downtown Port Arthur.

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During the open house, guests got to sample some of the culinary arts students’ work. Students made churros and served punch. School administration and students played tour guides for anyone interested in seeing the new facility.

Instruction began at the building this past fall, with Professor Ashley Taylor conducting the classes.

The program offers classes in food preparation, sanitation and safety, baking, regional cuisine and hospitality supervision.

The building’s kitchen is stocked with state-of-the-art appliances and features a locker room and washroom for students.

The facility will offer 10 long-term office suites and five conference rooms in addition to the culinary arts training center.

The Press Building culinary arts section includes two master chef kitchens and two classrooms, as well as administrative offices and a fully operational bistro.

The LSCPA Dean of Technical Programs is excited for the students and community.

“The culinary program has been in the works for about three years,” Melissa Armentor said. “There were some delays in getting the building completed. We started this program last fall. We are about to start our second class this fall, which is when we will open the bistro.”

Armentor said the bistro will serve breakfast and lunch to the community.

The program has one classroom near the kitchen designated for culinary arts courses and a “flex classroom” on the second floor.

“We have an additional classroom and a computer lab that we can use for culinary students,” she said. “We can also use it for some of our students in some of our other programs. Our college is less than a quarter mile down the street. We are looking at offering some of our general education classes and maybe some developmental classes in the upstairs classroom spaces this fall.”

The program has eight students but Armentor would like to see the program grow.

“It is a good program and people need to come out and see the building and see the space,” she said.

Work is still being done to what will eventually be a reception area.