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On the Journey: Erin Holter, CVCC Culinary Arts and Food Services Program Graduate
Erin is a 2011 graduate of Cuyahoga Valley Career Center's Culinary Arts & Food Services program, which she completed during her junior and senior years at North Royalton High School. At CVCC she gained hands-on cooking techniques and skills.

Erin credits her instructor, Barbara Hummer, as being a huge influence in her hospitality education and career.

"Mrs. Hummer has limitless knowledge of the culinary arts and food service industry," smiles Erin. "She is patient, kind, and she adapts her teaching style to the specific student she is teaching. She is hands-on, effective, and encouraging, and she often goes out of her way to help her students."

Erin even got a real-life taste of a hospitality career while she was at CVCC.

"We competed in restaurant competitions in Columbus. Our team had the opportunity to create our own restaurant, from the menu and pricing to the interior and exterior décor. It was an awesome experience. My team from CVCC placed highly both my junior and senior years," explains Erin.

Upon graduation from CVCC, Erin enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College where she graduated with a duel associate's degree in culinary arts and restaurant/food service management. During her time at Tri-C, Erin had the opportunity to work with Gavi's Catering for a University Hospitals event featuring Emeril Lagasse, and a Mitt Romney presidential campaign dinner in Kirtland.

Erin is currently continuing her education at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, majoring in restaurant, food, and beverage management. Erin says that CVCC served as the catalyst that encouraged her to continue her education at both Tri-C and Johnson & Wales, as well as step into her current management roles at the Shipyard Brewing Co., and the Rhode Island Country Club, both in Rhode Island.

Erin is currently a member of the Special Events Society at Johnson & Wales, where she had the opportunity to work at the Newport Food and Wine Festival in Newport, RI. This event turned into the opportunity of a lifetime for Erin. At the festival, she met Chef Guy Mitchell, the executive chef at the White House.

Erin was able to work and correspond with Chef Mitchell at the event, and they kept in contact from there.

"Chef Mitchell gave me invaluable career advice," Erin explains. "He encouraged me to apply for an internship position in management and administration at the White House."

Skills taught in the Culinary Arts & Food Services program include food preparation and restaurant operation. Students are taught menu planning, purchase of supplies, proper food storage, record keeping, dining room service techniques, cooking and baking, and sanitation. Students gain hands-on experience in restaurant operation by running The Valley Inn Restaurant, located within CVCC and open to the public. They have the opportunity to acquire ProStart and ServSafe certifications from the National Restaurant Association.

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center is located at 8001 Brecksville Road in Brecksville. CVCC offers students the opportunity to acquire ProStart and ServSafe certifications from the National Restaurant Association, as well as the OSHA Teen Worker Safety in Restaurants certification. For details call 440-526-5200, or visit CVCCWorks.edu.

By Kelli Comer
MimiVanderhaven.com
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8001 Brecksville Rd
Brecksville, OH 44141
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