GCC Expands Culinary Offerings with New Degree Program

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Gateway Community College’s popular culinary program is expanding this fall with a new degree program, Culinary Arts Associate of Arts, to complement established certificates.  Existing culinary educational offerings include certificates in Culinary Arts and Professional Baker.  

Program Coordinator Christopher Gentile said the new degree program will bridge the gap between basic food culinary1.jpgpreparation and job readiness.  Students will gain true industry experience serving the public by managing the College's program-based restaurant, CafĂ© Vincenzo.

One of the new courses in the degree program teaches advanced techniques and recipes, allowing students to practice high-end decorating and design applications, like sugar pulling.  Another new class provides students the opportunity to gain knowledge of sustainable foodservice management through field trips and insight from industry professionals.  

Gentile noted that students taking credits toward a certificate can now continue to earn their associate degree, rather than having to leave GCC to complete a degree program elsewhere.  Those interested in a bachelor’s degree program may decide to continue at other area colleges, such as the University of New Haven, Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, or the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Gentile said.  

Interest in culinary arts is high and GCC’s program has seen increased enrollment, Gentile said.  Many students have entrepreneurial plans, ranging from owning a food truck to owning and running a high-end restaurant; others prefer practicing their craft in a more controlled environment with regular hours, like a school or retirement home.

GCC’s culinary students complete internships at 25 sites throughout New Haven county and beyond, including Eli’s restaurant group’s multiple locations, Keri’s Sweet Creations in Wallingford, and Chick-fil-A (management training) in Wallingford.  Students also receive career readiness coaching, with emphasis on communication, resume writing, and interview advice. 

Click here for more information on the Professional Baker Certificate and the Culinary Arts A.A..