A Chef Emeritus wishes Baker good luck

September 10, 2009
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MUSKEGON — The opening of the new Culinary Institute of Michigan in Muskegon brings back a lot of fond memories for Bob Garlough.

Garlough was the founder of the culinary program at Grand Rapids Community College in 1980, including the on-campus Heritage Restaurant, which is run by the culinary students and is now counted among the Grand Rapids area's oldest and best-known fine-dining establishments. The GRCC culinary school also has a bakery with retail sales open to the general public.

Garlough was running a nightclub in Florida when he took the job at GRCC to organize and lead the GRCC program, known today as the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. He had previously taught at culinary schools and enjoyed working with student chefs.

In 2000, after 20 years as the dean of the GRCC culinary program, Garlough stepped down from that management position.

"I missed the teaching part," he said. Next year he will mark 30 years at the GRCC culinary school, where he is now a professor and Chef Emeritus

When he stepped down as head of the school in 2000, he said, "We had three programs — Culinary Arts, Culinary Arts Management, Baking & Pastry — 500 students, and 31 kitchens and classrooms," he said.

Being a chef is a hands-on career and the education doesn't end with the last day of classes. "I believe the first five years after school should be considered part of the educational process," he said.

Garlough said he believes some of the instructors at the new CIM in Muskegon are graduates of the GRCC program.

"I wish them all the luck over there" at the Baker College CIM, said Garlough. "That's exciting for that area."

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