CMC Culinary Apprenticeship Graduates

Our graduates are in demand because they have both knowledge and practical expertise

Brian Baker

photo - Brian BakerSixth Best in Country

“I started out at the [Keystone] Ski Tip as executive chef in ’04, and 11 years later, we were recognized nationally for creating consistent, upscale cuisine. With the Open Table award, last year we made the top 100 list, and we felt like our hard work had finally been recognized. This year [2014], this time around, being named sixth best restaurant in the country goes to show that consistency in product and a quality staff in the front and the back of the house — the majority of whom come from Colorado Mountain College’s culinary program — make a real difference.”

Brain Baker, Chef/Owner, Watershed Café, Leavenworth, WA (locally sourced – farm to table, Pacific north west cuisine)

Charles MacDonald

Charles-MacDonaldTraditional, but Contemporary

A Colorado native, Chef Charles MacDonald received his culinary education at Keystone Culinary Institute, where he graduated as Colorado’s student culinarian of the year for 2007. Working with The PlimothOwner/Executive Chef Peter Ryan, Chef Charle crafts some of Denver’s best French cuisine. Formerly a Sous Chef at Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Chef Charles’ approach to cooking is first and foremost traditional, but with contemporary presentations and techniques.

Charles MacDonald, Executive Chef, The Plimoth Restaurant, Denver (Classic French and Italian cuisine with a modern twist)

Steve Nguyen
grad Steve Nguyen

Fast Track

“Without the CMC program, I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. It is not only an honor but it is a pretty big privilege to be at this level at such a young age and so fresh out of college.”

Steve Nguyen is the Executive Chef of Hospitality the Keystone Resort in Keystone, Colorado.

Sara Watson
Photo - Sara Watson

Hands-on Experience

“My experience at the Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute was extremely challenging yet rewarding. The three years of hands-on training in a variety of kitchens provided me with the skills necessary to move forward in the kitchen and discover my own creativity. I learned the business end of the industry, from bookkeeping and keeping track of profit margins to marketing. Without this knowledge, our business would not be nearly as successful as it is today.”

Sara Watson is co-owner of Mezzaluna in Fargo, named best restaurant in North Dakota by and OpenTable. She manages the restaurant with her husband, Eric, another graduate.

Eric Watson

photo - Eric Watson

Working Daily

“It was the most rewarding experience of my life. This is the real world. The other school I attended just kind of simulated it. This program gave me 100% confidence because I was doing the work on a daily basis. The Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute at Keystone provides an ideal environment for aspiring culinarians. The three-year apprenticeship equips passionate culinarians with the confidence to succeed in an aggressive and competitive industry.”

Eric Watson and his wife, Sara, another CMCCI graduate, own and operate Mezzaluna in Fargo, named best restaurant in North Dakota by and OpenTable.