Culinary Institute of Virginia Opens to Serve Virginia’s Hospitality and Tourism Industries

NORFOLK, Va. - (June 7, 2006) – Norfolk Mayor Fraim and regional business leaders joined ECPI College of Technology today to announce the opening of the Culinary Institute of Virginia. The new educational arm of ECPI, a 40-year leader in collegiate educational programs, will open at the former Johnson & Wales location in Norfolk.

The Culinary Institute of Virginia is currently accepting applications for fall classes (www.chefva.com or 757- 858-CHEF). Culinary Institute of Virginia will offer a new European educational model that combines classroom instruction with hands-on externships in the community.

“The decision by ECPI to establish the Culinary Institute of Virginia in the City of Norfolk will have a major impact on the tourism and hospitality industry in Hampton Roads as well as the state,’’ said Mayor Paul Fraim. “The chefs of the future – the men and women who will work in the restaurant and hotel kitchens – will be trained at the institute.”

“We researched several sites across the state for this new location,” says Mark Dreyfus, president of ECPI. “The timing of the culinary school’s departure and the need for this type of workforce training make the Hampton Roads location very appealing. We want to work with area restaurants and hotels to heighten the profile of our regional cuisine and be a vital ingredient to enhance the tourism and hospitality industries.

The new educational model used by Culinary Institute of Virginia is a skills-based program that focuses on work experience as part of the curriculum. Graduates from the 72-week program will earn an associate of applied science degree in culinary science. Externships with area restaurants and hotels are a central tenet of the curriculum, and students are required to participate in community service projects with local hospitals, food banks and service organizations. For enrollment information, visit chefva.com.

###