In The Bender Kitchen: ConnCat Culinary Institute Cream Puffs

(WTNH) —  In the Bender Kitchen, ConnCAT Culinary Institute demonstrate some of the great skills they train their students at the facility. The program will consist of a comprehensive 11-Month training program for unemployed and underemployed adults and follow a phased cohort model enrolling 20 adults (2 cohorts per year).

Up to 25% may be from the re-entry population.

Both theoretical and hands-on training are provided in the program.  In addition to a detailed culinary learning experience such as culinary math, nutrition science, world cuisine and entrepreneurship, the program also provides soft skills trainings in financial and computer literacy, conflict resolution, and employment preparation.

The Culinary Academy will also include a cafe, which will be open to the public and managed by students.  It will serve as a social enterprise, with revenue from the cafe supporting programs.

More Information:

ConnCAT is based on the model and philosophy of MacArthur Genius Bill Strickland’s Manchester Bidwell Corporation by “providing state-of-the-art job training programs intended to give poor and otherwise disadvantaged adults the skills and direction they need to land meaningful, good-paying jobs that provide the foundation for a much brighter future.”

ConnCAT’s mission is to inspire, motivate, and prepare youth and adults for educational and career advancement through afterschool arts and job training programming. In its world-class, state-of-the-art facility, this mission is brought to life through its vision to create a learning environment that inspires hope, innovation, creativity, and excellence.

ConnCAT opened in 2012 in the Science Park neighborhood of New Haven and has been offering market relevant career training to the unemployed and underemployed of the region as well as after school arts programs.

Info sessions to learn about registering for the program.  Preregistration is required to attend an info session.

Sept 15, Sept 22 and Sept 29.  All sessions take place at 2:25 pm and are held at ConnCAT headquarters at 4 Science Park in New Haven.




Adapted from: On Cooking 5/e : Chapter 32 (pp 979)

Yield: 1 lb Serving Size: 1 oz

# of Servings: 16


water 8 fl oz salt

3/4 tsp granulated sugar

1 tsp unsalted butter

3 1/2 oz all purpose flour

5 oz eggs (see note below) 4 ea



  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Have a pastry bag with a large plain tip ready.
  2. Place the water, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Make sure the butter is fully melted.
  3. Remove from the heat and immediately add all the flour. Vigorously beat the dough by hand. Put the pan back on the heat and continue beating the dough until it comes away from the sides of the pan. The dough should look relatively dry and should just begin to leave a film on the saucepan.
  4. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat it for a few seconds at medium speed. Then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Continue to add the eggs one by one until the mixture is shiny but firm. It may not be necessary to use all of the eggs. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl in thick threads; it will not clear the bowl.
  6. Put a workable amount of dough into the pastry bag and pipe onto the parchment lined sheet pans in the desired shapes at once.
  7. Bake immediately, beginning at 425°F for 10 minutes, then lowering the heat to 350°F. Continue baking until the shapes are brown and dry inside, approximately 25 more minutes. Open the oven door as little as possible to prevent rapid changes in the oven’s temperature.
  8. Cool completely, then fill as desired.

Leftovers can be frozen or stored at room temperature.

Eggs: amount is variable ­ may need slightly more or less than the amount specified.

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