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Heart, Soul + Passionfruit: Expert Chocolatier Melissa Coppel Visits JWU

“I feel like I do what I want — and that is really a good thing and really a bad thing.” JWU Providence’s 179th Distinguished Visiting Chef Melissa Coppel is describing to a packed auditorium of rapt baking & pastry students the ways that doing what you love has its rewards as well as its drawbacks: “If you are critical of the world, you must also be critical of yourself, and be willing to dig deep.”

Thailand Culinary Academy’s Willment Leong Talks Food + Philanthropy

Distinguished Visiting Chef (DVC) Willment Leong (Thailand Culinary Academy/World Chefs Without Borders) speaking at JWU’s Providence Campus. | Photo: Mike Cohea

Chef Willment Leong has worked in some of Thailand’s most esteemed hotels, but his real passion is giving back: through education, through fundraising, and through the universal language of cooking soul-satisfying food. As JWU Providence College of Culinary Arts Dean Peter Lehmuller describes JWU’s 177th Distinguished Visiting Chef (DVC): “He exemplifies the fact that cuisine transcends borders.”

Cake Genius Joshua John Russell on His Evolution as a Baker

Joshua John Russell to JWU students: “You can break the rules as long as you learn how to do it right the first time.” | Photo: Peter Goldberg

“You can break the rules as long as you learn how to do it right the first time,” Joshua John Russell '01 told a packed auditorium at JWU’s Providence Campus.

Russell, a veteran of “Food Network Challenge” and “Last Cake Standing,” was referring to traditional piping techniques in this case, something he calls “a dying art,” but stresses this applicable to just about anything.