Interest in culinary arts has never been higher. Television is peppered with cooking programs and competitions. New restaurants open frequently, offering increasingly diverse menus. The growing popularity of culinary arts is encouraging many people to learn more about cooking—not only for personal enjoyment, but to turn their passion for cooking into a fulfilling career.
Many people begin their careers as food-preparation workers and work their way up to positions with more responsibility. Others can speed the process by enrolling in culinary training programs, such as the new program at Lorain County Community College.
New Associate of Applied Business Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management - Culinary Arts Major
The LCCC associate of applied business degree in culinary arts can prepare you for a career in the hospitality industry. From the preparation of simple dishes to the creation of international cuisine, you will learn a variety of cooking skills and techniques through intense hands-on instruction.
Kitchens will be located in the new LCCC Culinary and Convergent Digital Arts facility on the LCCC main campus. The facility will open in fall, 2012, and will include three teaching kitchens, a dining lab, multi-use spaces and much more.
You don’t have to wait for the new building to get started on your culinary education. Classroom training is already underway in human nutrition, food safety and other courses needed for your degree. Then it will be time to train in the kitchen, using the newest cooking equipment and tools.
About the Program
“The focus of the program is on cooking skills,” says Eric Petrus, program director and executive chef at LCCC, “but it also gives students a solid foundation for other careers in the field. Food-service establishments need people who know how to order food and supplies, set work schedules and ensure that the business runs efficiently.”
Coursework includes food-service management, purchasing, human resources, food and beverage management, and even a course on managing your career. You will learn how to manage a dining room, and how to plan and market your menus.
But for most people, a culinary education is all about the food. You will learn to cook contemporary, international and New World cuisine. You will learn baking and pastry. You will leave LCCC with the skills you need to manage a commercial kitchen.
Job opportunities with a culinary degree include far more than just restaurants. Large catering operations are often located in hotels, conference centers and resorts. Food service is provided in institutional settings such as hospitals, residential care facilities and schools. Even grocery and specialty food stores include on-site bakeries and prepare meals for carryout.
And the job outlook is positive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job outlook for those in the culinary arts, particularly cooks, chefs, and food preparation workers, will grow at the average rate until 2016. Job growth for workers who prepare meals-to-go (such as deli counters and specialty stores) will be higher than average as people look for healthy and convenient alternatives to restaurants.
Petrus says, “There is no question that a culinary career can be a demanding profession. But if you have a passion for cooking, as I do, there is not a better job in the world.”