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Newton DMACC announces new baking program

New program only offered at local campus

DMACC Newton Chef instructor Ryan Binney prepares treats during Newton DMACC's Fourth Annual Holiday Celebration Tuesday night. Newton DMACC recently announced they will be beginning a baking and pastries program in Fall 2020.
DMACC Newton Chef instructor Ryan Binney prepares treats during Newton DMACC's Fourth Annual Holiday Celebration Tuesday night. Newton DMACC recently announced they will be beginning a baking and pastries program in Fall 2020.

Is a culinary arts class centered around baking the best thing since sliced bread? For some students at Newton DMACC, it very well could be.

In fall 2020, the community college’s Iowa Culinary Institute will kickstart its Baking and Pastry Arts program, which was spearheaded by chef and instructor Ryan Binney and DMACC Newton Provost Joe DeHart.

The curriculum will teach students baking and pastry skills using multiple course throughout the school year. Students who complete the one-year program will receive their diploma. These courses will take students through the ins and outs of baking among other skills like decorating.

“A lot of students we found were taking the culinary program, but really their heart was in baking. We just felt like a baking specific program would better suit those students’ needs,” Binney said.

Binney wrote the curriculum for the program and has plenty of experience teaching classes at DMACC and owning his own business in the culinary world for a decade.

“I wrote the curriculum this past summer and that has gone through the different processes and is just finalizing now,” Binney said. “Basically it is going to be a one-year diploma.”

DeHart added, “Chef Binney has been a baker and bakery owner his entire career and was trained at the prestigious Johnston and Whales Culinary School out East and completed his bachelors degree in Foodservice Entrepreneurship ... Students will learn under the best and receive the training and experience to be a top baker.”

The Newton DMACC campus already has a two-year culinary arts program available. The new baking portion will require some changes to the kitchen already in use at the college, specifically the addition of baking equipment.

“We are going to transform the whole kitchen,” Binney said.

According to a press release issued by the college, the program was made possible due to a large gift from the Helen Diehl estate. Diehl and her husband John were local business leaders and long-time Newton residents. This gift allows the program to get underway at the campus and helps purchase the equipment needed to teach it.

“There are a lot of barriers that we had to getting this baking program started and one of them was definitely funding,” Binney said. “We were very fortunate to have that donation.”

Binney believes Newton DMACC is special in a couple of ways. The local campus will be the only one to offer this program centered around baking, much like Newton DMACC’s one-of-a-kind court reporting.

“I think that has really helped this campus to shine and to really be on its own and I think the baking program being only in Newton is going to just build upon that,” Binney said.

The program itself will not only create new curriculum opportunities for students in this field of study, Binney said it will also open an outlet shop of sorts, utilizing space in the former Maytag buildings the college now owns. The shop will offer a variety of different foods and drinks for customers.

“It’ll all be student run so the students will get their work experience piece through that,” Binney said. “

Plenty of people have been involved in bringing this program to Newton. Binney touted DeHart’s work, who was heavily involved with this process.

“Joe’s role has been huge in making this happen at this campus and he has just been a huge help to this,” Binney said.

There will be plenty of excitement when the program officially rolls out in August 2020, after all the preparations have been made and the curriculum is finalized. Aspiring bakers will be able to register for these classes sometime in April for the fall semester.

“We are just looking for people who are interested in getting a career and they know baking is the route they want to go,” Binney said.

DeHart added, “The Baking and Pastry Arts program is a great opportunity for Jasper and Marion Counties, but also within convenient driving distance for people in the Des Moines metro area.”

Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or

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