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KSU Culinary Apprenticeship Students Put Culinary Skills to the Test

May 23, 2016

Over the past nine months, students from the Culinary Apprenticeship Program at KSU’s College of Continuing and Professional Education have been working hands-on in the kitchens of accomplished professional chefs learning the skills they need to succeed in the hospitality industry.

The culinary cohort put their skills on the chopping board during “A Taste of The islands,” on May 4. The themed dinner event was used as a practice run for the students’ final showcase on May 11. From planning to preparation, to plating and presentation, the students placed all of the skills and fundamentals they learned on the line.

Special guests for the evening included alumni of the program and local food bloggers, Malika Bowling, president of Association of Food Bloggers Association and Joy Dickson, owner of Joy’s Life.

“What an encouragement it is for our students to be able to meet graduates of the program and local food bloggers,” said Pam Moss, culinary arts program manager. “Students have worked very hard in this program and they aspire to be part of the culinary community.”

For the students’ ultimate showcase – Chef’s Table – family and friends of the graduates, along with university administrators, were treated to “Sapori d’ Italia,” a five-course Italian meal. In the kitchen, students were flying into action — cutting, seasoning, cooking and plating — using all their skills to craft decadent dishes.

“Tonight, we say congratulations,” said Moss. “We have seen them as students, but when they leave, I hope we see them as chefs.”

The Culinary Apprenticeship program began in 2008 with three students. Today the program serves between nine and 15 student chefs each year and has graduated nearly 60 professional chefs. The program is based on the European model of teaching. Students learn in a state-of-the-art industrial kitchen and take part in multiple apprenticeships where work with professional chefs.

Skyler Dortch, recent graduate, received two job offers before the completion of the program.

“Tonight we did the Chef’s table and it was real fun,” said Dortch. “I’ve worked real hard for the past nine months and I’ve gotten two job offers [through apprenticeship sites]. I had a great team behind me and it was a total success. I’m happy.”

The Culinary Apprenticeship program begins each September and ends in May of the following year. Students in the program are required to complete 420 hours of apprenticeship at several prestigious venues, including, but not limited to:

  • Park 75 at the Four Seasons Hotel-Atlanta
  • Endive Catering
  • Murphy’s
  • Paces and Vine

The students concluded the night by expressing their gratitude and appreciation to their family and friends for their continued support and a special thank you to the instructors who have guided them throughout the program.

“Our job is not finished when you leave here,” said Moss as she addressed the students at the end of night. “Our obligation to you is finished, but our desire for you to succeed continues.”

The next Culinary Apprenticeship cohort begins September 7, 2016.

For more information about the Culinary Apprenticeship program and other hospitality courses, visit or call 470-578-6765.


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