Beckley, W.Va. – West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) is announcing a partnership with Chef Paul Smith. The agreement is specifically related to the two-year culinary program, which is offered through Potomac State College and hosted on WVU Tech’s campus in Beckley, which opened in 2020.
Smith is the first West Virginian to be a finalist for a James Beard Foundation award. Smith has multiple restaurants in the Charleston, West Virginia area, including 1010 Bridge Restaurant & Catering, Ellen’s Ice Cream and The Pitch Sports Bar & Grill. He is also a chef partner with the Humble Tomato in Lewisburg, West Virginia, Barkadas in Charleston, West Virginia and Retro Hospitality, a hotel management group based in Richmond, Virginia.
Chef Paul Smith will use his connections and network of restauranteurs across the state and country to provide students with experiential learning opportunities and job placements for students and graduates.
“Developing and building a more extensive network of culinarians and hospitality workers in West Virginia is a must if we are going to be a hospitality-driven state. We have wonderful restaurants, a designated national park and tourism is on the rise,” explained Smith. “We need to make sure that we have the workforce and the infrastructure that this requires.”
“The partnership with Chef Paul Smith will promote and facilitate our goals of improving culinary skills of students, diversifying our curriculum and fostering community involvement through enhanced hospitality opportunities in our state. Chef Paul not only brings enhanced culinary techniques but also creativity, dedication and passion that will greatly enhance student experience at WVU Tech,” says Chef Devin Noor, Program Director and Teaching Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts.
“The opportunities Chef Paul will bring our culinary students, while also providing community partnerships with local restaurants and the hospitality industry, will continue to set our program apart from others and provide students with real-world readiness,” says Dr. T. Ramon Stuart, President of WVU Tech.
A formal announcement will take place at 410 Neville Street on January 24, 2024. Chef Paul Smith and other culinary partners will be in attendance.
For more information on Chef Paul Smith, visit chefpaulwv.com. For more information about the culinary program hosted on Tech’s campus, visit admissions.wvutech.edu/academics/majors/hospitality-culinary.