AC Trains the Chefs of Tomorrow, Today!

A new culinary training program is getting underway in Atlantic City, designed to get students from the classroom to professional kitchens in just four months.

Culinary Training at Atlantic Cape Community College
Students receive intensive training in culinary arts at the Atlantic Cape Community College campus in Atlantic City.

Atlantic Cape Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts (atlantic.edu) is making it easy for career-changers as well as current food professionals to gain needed skills or heighten existing ones.

The college has campuses in Mays Landing, Cape May Court House and Atlantic City. At the AC campus, the just-completed Caesars Entertainment Wing for Hospitality and Gaming Studies features two state-of-the-art kitchens, with camera-equipped, chef-demonstration areas and TV monitors at each of the eight workstations. The property also has a pizza oven and an organic greenhouse with hydroponic capabilities.

Students can enroll in the Culinary or the Baking & Pastry programs starting in September. Each group of 15 students will spend a total of 425 class hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., working one-on-one with a single professor to learn terminology and skills needed to launch or advance their culinary careers. The cost of each course is $5895, and scholarships are available.

It’s great for people “who are not necessarily looking for degrees, but for tangible skills that they can get right out into the job market with,” says chef Bruce Johns, Director of Culinary Operations.

These classes, focusing on hands-on experience, differ from the college’s three-semester certificate programs and two-year Associate’s degrees. But, says Johns, “It’s still a commitment. There’s still reading, homework and testing. We have the same standards as our full-time programs. We expect everybody to be on time, and one of the standards for passing is 85 percent attendance. You can’t learn if you’re not there.”

Himself a 1986 graduate of the Atlantic Cape, Johns, 51, worked in local hotels and ran his own restaurant for six years before joining the faculty and ultimately the administration.

“Students will get exposure to an awful lot of things in both programs,” Johns says. “In a short time they will be exposed to every sort of cooking and baking, with a focus on basic skills. And no one will leave this program without being certified in sanitation.”

The Culinary Training program will include instruction in the creation and benefits of kitchen gardens; hot food production and short order cooking; preparation of stocks and sauces; cooking
methods for meat, poultry and seafood; the fundamentals of baking, and professional development and resume writing.

In Baking & Pastry, students will learn bread production; leavening agents; proper mixing methods for crusts and cookies; four types of buttercream; cake decorating; plated desserts and some chocolate and sugar work.

For more information, call Judy DeSalvo at 609-343-5624 or email her at [email protected]

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