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COOKING UP SUCCESS IN TCC’S HOSPITALITY PROGRAM
~ Culinary arts program earns first national accreditation
~ TCC will provide training for the Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Coalition

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Aug. 25, 2005) – Culinary arts education rises to a national level for Tidewater Community College this fall with receipt of its first accreditation from the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Accreditation Commission, announced today.

“Earning accreditation from the prestigious American Culinary Federation puts a gold seal on our culinary arts program, while holding us to high standards of excellence,” says Quintin Bullock, provost of TCC’s Norfolk Campus, which houses the college’s hospitality program.

For eight years the culinary track, part of TCC’s hospitality management program, has been preparing future chefs, caterers, kitchen managers and anyone interested in sharpening their cooking skills for the work ahead. Now, the degree program has turned up the heat, expanding to fill the educational void created by Johnson & Wales’ exit from the region. And, just in time, with industry need rapidly outstripping quality, trained culinary professionals.

“American consumers will spend almost 47 percent of their food dollar in the restaurant community in 2005,” says Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association. The nation’s restaurant industry - which created, on average, about 270,000 new jobs per year during the last 10 years - is on track to add 1.8 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

TCC, to ensure that students hone cutting-edge cooking skills while learning the latest in industry trends, revamped its curriculum in 2004-05 and sought and earned accreditation from the ACF. “To get to this point, we had to undertake a self-study with 98 elements that had to be addressed,” says Al Gray, a certified executive chef and hospitality educator with more than 30 years in the field. Gray served as TCC interim program director and managed the ACF accreditation application and process.

“We updated the curriculum, looked at providing internships and job placement opportunities, as well as concentrated on what’s going on in our kitchens,” adds Gray. Rigorous and thorough, the accreditation process began in November of 2004 and included site visits by ACF representatives.

With the closing of Johnson & Wales University in Norfolk, TCC’s culinary school is one of two sites in South Hampton Roads offering kitchen management training. The program focuses on the technical knowledge and hands-on skills necessary for a career in food preparation in a variety of settings.

“Hospitality is the largest employer in the world, with tremendous opportunities for graduates,” explains Gray. “We’re training students to work in traditional settings like hotels, restaurants, cruise lines, and for other positions like corporate chef, personal chef, caterer and more.”

In the near future, TCC’s culinary school will provide training for the Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Coalition, coordinated by the Downtown Norfolk Council. “The TCC program is a unique opportunity for our restaurants and has the potential to meet several training needs,” says Cathy Coleman, DNC president. “The chance to participate in tailoring a program for ‘front of the house’ staff is particularly appealing.”

Initial one-day sessions will focus on service, while later sessions will touch on knife skills and meat fabrication. “We’re excited about this new association and very pleased to offer additional programming to meet industry needs,” says Don Averso, TCC’s new program coordinator. “This will add to our long-standing relationship with the Navy and C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program).”

The accreditation is for three years and will be up for renewal in June 2008.

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Laurie White
Media Relations
757-822-1085

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 36,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit www.tcc.edu

 
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