SCC Alumni Network News
News and events that make us proud to be members of the SCC community.
SCC Alum Returns to His Roots
Chef Michael Broughten, 1986 Alumnus of the South Central College Culinary Arts program, recently joined SCC’s faculty as Culinary Instructor, replacing Jim Hanson, who retired from full-time teaching after more than 35 years in higher education. “I am absolutely thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to come back to my hometown and teach in the school where my culinary career started,” said Broughten, adding that he looks forward to getting re-acclimated within the community and getting to know the chefs and restaurant owners and their needs.
Broughten said he has a passion for teaching. “I’ve been in the industry since the mid-80’s, and I’m ready to bring the latest culinary techniques to the students of SCC. In my life, it’s really important to make sure I have passion in whatever I do, and that’s something I instill in my students,” said Broughten, who has a vast array of experiences to share from many years in the industry. “I have done so much within my life with different types of food, different parts of the country, different cultures, and managed many types of operations,” he said.
“My vision is to take an existing successful culinary program, take what Jim Hanson has done, and build on it, taking us forward to the next period in time,” said Broughten. “I want to make sure this program is a leader within the culinary industry and make sure our students are well-prepared when they graduate.”
Broughten said the program has changed dramatically since he graduated in the mid-eighties. “The school has grown and changed for the better, and the program has adapted to today’s needs,” he said. “Food is ever-changing, people are ever-changing, and people are becoming more sophisticated and educated about food. Everybody raises the bar.”
Broughten’s career experiences have spanned the United States and beyond. After graduating from SCC, his first few jobs were at Canterbury Downs and the Holiday Inn of Mankato. In 1989 he moved to Minneapolis to serve as Executive Chef at Hotel Sofitel. He was trained by top French chefs and gained extensive knowledge of French cuisine, banquets, room service, and being involved in all aspects of the three restaurants of the hotel. He eventually traveled all around the U.S. from New York to Los Angeles training other chefs within the hotel chain. After many years of training and advancement, he became the first American Executive Chef for a high-end French hotel. He then moved on to become the Executive Chef of the Minneapolis Athletic Club, which he helped transform to what is now the Grand Hotel Minneapolis, a four-star hotel. In this position he developed his skills in continental American Cuisine and had the opportunity to cook for celebrities, professional athletes, top CEO’s of many Fortune 500 companies, the Vice-President of the United States, and top-level dignitaries. He said this was a high point in his career. He eventually was promoted to Corporate Chef for the Wirth hotels, including the Grand Hotel and several other hotels owned and operated by this company. He then transitioned to something completely different, working as an Executive Chef for Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. And, for the last six years, he was involved with the concept and culinary development of Pairings Food and Wine Market in Minnetonka, as well as serving as Executive Chef.
Broughten had the opportunity to travel to Italy and the Napa Valley region of California to gain expertise for menu concept and development. He said, “My philosophy on food is to be able to keep the traditions of classic cuisine by using local, sustainable products while incorporating state-of-the-art technology.” He said he also believes that every experience big or small is a learning opportunity, and we need to have a good sense of humor.
When he is not in the kitchen teaching his students, you can find him on the golf course, which is his second-greatest passion.