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CCCC Natural Chef program graduates first class

Click to enlarge CCCC Natural Chef program graduates first class

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Central Carolina Community College’s new Natural Chef culinary arts program graduated its first ... (more)

03.11.2011College & CommunityStudents/Graduates

PITTSBORO — The world of culinary arts just got a boost in organic, nutrient-rich, community-grown, palate-pleasing food preparation with the graduation of the first 18 students from Central Carolina Community College’s Natural Chef culinary arts program.

“These students are pioneers,” said Janice Escott, Natural Chef program coordinator. “They will take their skills into their homes, businesses and communities, sharing them and improving community health by serving nutritious, appealing foods from organic local farms.”

The program started in fall 2010 and the students completed an intensive training program of 504 hours over 18 weeks. They learned to create dishes in the college’s new Sustainable Technology Center’s kitchen at the college’s Chatham County Campus. The food used was harvested from the Student Farm or bought from local organic farms. The program, which is under the college’s Continuing Education Department, includes studies such as nutrition, food science, therapeutic cooking, seasonal foods, regional cooking, and culinary business management.

The program also operates the Natural Chef Cafe at the campus, which serves lunch to the public. Reservations are required.

Each of the graduates received a Natural Chef Culinary Arts Certification at the graduation, which was held Jan. 29 at the Chatham Campus. Instructors Chef Kelly Taylor and Chef Steve Caldwell presented each graduate with a chef’s hat.

“Natural Chef is the latest addition to the college’s green program offerings,” said CCCC President Bud Marchant. “Our college is known as Green Central because of its focus on sustainability. Training people with skills that help to build both the health and the economy of our area is one more way we at the college express our commitment to being a catalyst for positive changes.”

Members of the Natural Chef culinary arts program’s first graduating class are Mina Balakhani, Melissa Breshisci, Kulia Chedaille, Lorrie Fisher, Maggie Gartman, Erin-Michael Hollas, Denise Kennedy, Mary Anne Mabry, Jessica April Waters, Tara “Sima” Barazandeh, William Burke, Miriam “Mimi” Clayton, Sara Gage, Lawrence “Jake” Helms, Hiram Kabui, Pamela Lee Kohanowich, Sharon Nettles, and Bryce Whitt.

The college’s Natural Chef culinary arts program is funded in part by a grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund. The program is available on both a full-time and part-time schedule. For more information about the Natural Chef program, contact Janice Escott, or (919) 545-8070.