Northampton Community College's Culinary Arts program prepares students for careers as chefs, bakers, restaurants managers, and more. At NCC, you will learn from professional chefs as you earn your associate degree. This program typically takes two years to complete and all of the required classes are offered at our Bethlehem campus. Our culinary arts students have the opportunity to receive practical training in a modern commercial kitchen and work in our public restaurant, the Hampton Winds, in their second six months of the program.
Through various on-site special events, students have the opportunity to experience banquet style cooking and plating. In addition, the Chef in Residence program allows students to learn from experienced industry chefs and graduates. Students are given the opportunity to compete in a culinary competition for a chance to extern with Emeril Lagasse.
The program provides a year of intensive full-time study that combines theory and lecture with nearly 1,000 hours of hands-on practical application. Students are trained in all the formal classical methods of preparing food and then put that training into practice. Once the culinary training has been completed, students can complete the additional core courses needed to earn their Associate in Applied Science degree. If you already have a college degree, you may prefer to opt for the program's specialized diploma and forgo the core courses required for the associate's degree.
Since its creation in 1993, Northampton's Culinary Arts program has earned a reputation as one of the finest of its kind. As a graduate of our program, you will be in demand in a wide variety of settings. Nearly all of the leading food service industry employers in our region - from fine dining restaurants to campus dining services - proudly employ our graduates.
Students in our culinary program progress from entry-level skills to advanced techniques in both classical and modern cooking, including tableside cooking and plate presentation. Northampton continues to raise the bar in culinary excellence by combining hands-on experiences with quality full-time faculty instruction. Culinary arts courses at NCC vary from safety procedures to preparing food to operating a restaurant. For example, students taking Food Safety and Sanitation learn how to reduce foodborne illness, while Basic Entrees and Vegetables is a study of food preparation.
Graduates of the program will not only have the ability to create a savory plate, but also provide guests with an enjoyable dining experience. NCC courses prepare students to work efficiently in many different culinary settings and in a variety of roles.
Whether you're looking to work in a restaurant, hotel, club, or for a corporate food service or catering company, culinary arts is an occupation that is built around teamwork. Careers in the culinary field can be rewarding and satisfying, but it takes dedication, passion, and a desire to work with fellow culinarians who have a passion for the industry. Culinary Arts graduates can expect to work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays.
A degree in Culinary Arts from Northampton is perfect for students looking to become chefs, bakers, and caterers. With experience, students can progress to executive chefs, pastry chefs, and back-of-the-house managers. Potential settings include multi-unit franchise restaurants, owner-operated restaurants, four-star hotels, country clubs, corporate food service, and catering businesses.
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