Foodservice Equipment Reports

N.C. Cooking Schools Face Tougher Regulations

A stricter interpretation of county restaurant regulations has pressured two cooking schools in Chapel Hill. N.C., to ensure their kitchen equipment meets the same standards as restaurants.

According to local media, both A Southern Season and C’est Si Bon have had to change their food preparation routine as well.

The general manager at A Southern Season called the order a systemic challenge. While disagreeing with the idea that restaurant guidelines are appropriate for cooking schools, the school has complied with the rules and is operating under a restaurant permit. Its equipment lineup passed inspection—except for its refrigerators, which lacked the required restaurant certification. The school’s student-chefs are using commercial refrigeration units a floor below the teaching kitchen.

"To upgrade things and jump through different hoops, it costs money," said Briggs Wesche. "It was quite an upheaval and for a while there our poor cooking school manager thought she wouldn't be able to teach any classes."

C’est Si Bon hasn’t given in that easily; WCHL News in Chapel Hill reports that the school has filed a lawsuit against Orange County. It claims that that cooking schools should be exempt from such harsh regulations, because they don’t do cooking demonstrations and students do all the cooking. The school is reportedly asking for $10,000 in damages.

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