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Where Stars are Made: Culinary Arts at CVCC
Last year, our state was the home to 21,896 eating and drinking establishments, creating $17.8 billion in sales and accounting for 10 percent of jobs.

To best prepare students for this burgeoning job market, we are fortunate at CVCC to offer the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation ProStart Program. This industry-driven curriculum allows us to present the necessary skills in all facets of the field, from culinary skills to management and nutrition.

For hands-on experience, the students in our two-year program mix classroom time with hours spent operating the Valley Inn Restaurant. The 90-seat eatery boasts a lunch operation of made-from-scratch soups, salads, and entrees, as well as a beautiful venue for special events. Students handle everything from making the food to managing inventories, receipts, and bank deposits at the end of the day.

Hosting Local Luminaries
We also make the most of our close proximity to the restaurant mecca in Cleveland by hosting local and national figures.

Michelin-starred and James Beard Award-winning chef Dante Bocuzzi, who owns a myriad of restaurants in the Clevlenad and Akron areas, spoke about trends in the industry. (His son went through our program.)

And Chef Matt Fish, of Melt Bar & Grilled, taught us that even though this is a highly creative field, a restaurant's success hinges on a solid business plan.

We also consider it a coup to have brought in Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, one of the stars of the pioneering documentary "Forks Over Knives," which examines the effect of a plant-based diet on reversing diseases and the profound connection between nutrition and well-being.

You Are What You Eat
Onging seminars in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Independence Family Health Center keep the spotlight on food's role in the mind-body-health connection.

People are so much more educated about what's on their plates, and they want to know where their food comes from. That's why we have partnered with the Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau to plan field trips that are fascinating and give our students a wealth of knowledge.

In addition to restaurants, many of our students are finding wonderful employment opportunities at senior care facilities. It offers a different set of challenges, preparing nutritionally sound meals for the same group of people each day.

Our students have earned accolades for their talents. In January, a five-person team from CVCC won the ProStart Invitational competition in Columbus in Restaurant Management and this  month will go on to the national competition in Anaheim, CA.

Students completing the Culinary Arts program at CVCC are prepared to enter and succeed in the work world, and have a step up when pursuing post-secondary education. Each year those who are pursuing higher education and wish to become chefs are rewarded with scholarships to culinary schools across the country, such as Johnson & Wales.

By Barbara HummerCulinary Arts Instructor, CVCC
Article posted on

Culinary Arts Students receive a ProStart Certificate of Achievement at the end of the program and are eligible for scholarships and course credits at more than 75 of the country's leading hospitality and culinary arts colleges.
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8001 Brecksville Rd
Brecksville, OH 44141
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