XENIA — According to the Greene County Career Center’s website, the institution wants potential students of its culinary arts program to know that they can enter the world of culinary expertise and restaurant management through an exciting, creative, and fast-paced career preparation program.
Potential students attend Career Awareness Day, which allows them to decide if culinary arts is a program that they want to enter. If the program appeals to students, they can apply to enter it. No prerequisites are required.
Beavercreek High School senior Zach Sanford has myriad reasons why the program appealed to him.
“In specific, it is always good to know cooking. I am interested in cooking and pursuing a career in it,” he said. “Careers are very diverse in culinary arts.”
Beavercreek senior Ashleigh Craft said she was attracted to the program because she is into baking and cooking. She added that the program has had a profound effect on her.
“They educate you on a lot of culinary-based things,” Craft said. “I feel like I can go anywhere. Chef (Khalid) Hamdy tries to get you ready for the outside world once you leave the career center.”
GCCC’s culinary arts program consists of a multitude of aspects.
“We teach everything. We teach all kinds of cooking,” Hamdy said. “We teach fundamentals of cooking. After graduation, students can attend college at Sinclair and receive a $3,000 scholarship.”
Students learn the basics of sauces; cooking methods; pastry; baking; restaurant management; and hospitality management. They also get the opportunity to manage GCCC’s award-winning restaurant The Greene Room.
Entry-level career opportunities are readily available for students.
“(They) could be anything from a dishwasher at a restaurant to a line cook or sous chef. Our students gain a wide range of skills and the ServeSafe certification lets employers know they have a strong foundation when they walk through the door,” GCCC Public Information Administrator Ron Bolender said. “All of them leave with a passion regarding cooking. Sometimes it’s baking. Sometimes it’s creating international or American dishes.”
Added Hamdy, “A majority of students are working now and making good money. They can go on to higher education.”
Sanford said if he had not taken the program, he would not be good at cooking. Getting exposed to other cultures; getting his foot in the door at various jobs; and obtaining a lot of certifications are other positives Sanford mentioned.
Craft said she has thought about enrolling in Sinclair’s culinary arts program, while also thinking about finding an internship somewhere.
Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534