INVESTED

Chef Bob Lombardi gets a little emotional when he talks about his passion for food. For him, it’s more than his lifelong career, though he’s been an instructor at the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy at Spokane Community College for more than 30 years.

He also works as a corporate and executive chef, and he’s participated in several competition shows on the Food Network. But food is truly about family and love for chef Bob. When his mother, Clara, died, she left him her silver serving spoons and the mantle of family chef, a role he takes seriously.

 

CREATIVE

 

Bob treats his students like family, too. Every 10 weeks a new group comes through his pastry arts class. He always makes sure they bake a little extra so they have some to take home to share.

But it’s not simply baking bread. “I have the opportunity to blend the learning from their previous cooking units in my class while I teach them survival skills for success in the hospitality industry,” he says. “It’s very fast-paced, very high-energy.”

Students learn the process of pastry arts—how to plan and organize and do things in exact sequence. There is a lot of science and math in the production, he explains. But at the end, there’s an artistry. “That really appeals to a lot of students, the ability at the end to add in the art and creativity,” he says. “And that’s what I love about it, too.”

Bob Lombardi - Chef Instructor

CREATIVE

 

Bob treats his students like family, too. Every 10 weeks a new group comes through his pastry arts class. He always makes sure they bake a little extra so they have some to take home to share.

But it’s not simply baking bread. “I have the opportunity to blend the learning from their previous cooking units in my class while I teach them survival skills for success in the hospitality industry,” he says. “It’s very fast-paced, very high-energy.”

Students learn the process of pastry arts—how to plan and organize and do things in exact sequence. There is a lot of science and math in the production, he explains. But at the end, there’s an artistry. “That really appeals to a lot of students, the ability at the end to add in the art and creativity,” he says. “And that’s what I love about it, too.”

SUPPORTING

 

Bob’s teachings incorporate supporting the community. His students can often be found volunteering for charity events, like the CCS Foundation’s SipSwirl&Savor fundraising wine gala that features a five-course meal prepared and served by students.

Once students graduate from the program, many go to work right here in Spokane.

“It’s very rewarding to see the success of the students in our community,” he says. “It’s fun to watch them grow, to have success.”