Culinary Arts & Hospitality Studies, formerly known as the Hotel and Restaurant Department
was founded in 1936 by John and Hilda Watson Gifford. It is the first two year hospitality program
in the country; and the first program emphasizing the culinary arts. The department’s
beginnings were humble, initially located in the basement of San
Francisco’s Galileo High School with only 12 students. In 1955,
the department relocated to Smith Hall, it’s first
permament home. In 1963, with financial assistance from the Statler
Foundation, Statler Wing was built adjacent to Smith Hall and again expanded
The current facilities in Smith Hall and Statler Wing are now home
to a café, cafeteria and fine dining restaurant; four kitchens,
a bake shop, a hotel style storeroom, three lecture rooms, a lecture/demonstration
auditorium, the Alice Statler Library and Gifford Resource Center.
The department has an on-going enrollment of over 250 students from
around the world.
In 1999, CCSF organized all credit and non-credit hospitality and
culinary related programs under it’s current department name: Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies. The Hotel and Restaurant
Department simultaneously changed it’s name to the Culinary
Arts and Hospitality Management Programs and the Hospitality Training
Program changed it’s name to the Culinary and Service Skills
The Culinary and Service Skills
Training program has operated the Educated Palate
restaurant in the basement of the Downtown Campus since 1982. Students
train for one semester to acquire dining room service skills and
one semester for culinary skills. In addition to local employers,
well established relationships with Local 2, the Apprenticeship Training
Program and the Hotel Education Fund has provided many employment
opportunities for students.
In 2005, with monies made available from the Proposition A Bond
measure of 2001, the Educated Palate restaurant at the Downtown Campus
was moved from the basement to street level and a new, state of the
art restaurant continues to train students in service and culinary
skills. The restaurant retained it’s name, the Educated Palate.