NORFOLK, Va. - (Sept. 5, 2006) -The new Culinary Institute of Virginia welcomes 45 students to the first day of school on Sept. 6, when the college officially opens it doors at 2428 Almeda Avenue in Norfolk. Hands-on training is part of the first day’s curriculum.
“We’ve had tremendous response from students wishing to pursue a degree in culinary arts and have a very strong class for the first semester, exceeding our expectations,” says Mark Dreyfus, president of Culinary Institute of Virginia. “This class represents our educational promise to the hospitality industry. There is a significant labor shortage in the field, and we hope to work with area hotels and restaurants to provide highly skilled workers and elevate the level of service and cuisine in the region.”
“We welcome the school with open arms,” says Chuck Sass, vice president of food and beverage for Professional Hospitality Resources and Gold Key Resorts. “We have never seen the shortages of skilled hospitality workers like we are experiencing right now. The tremendous growth of new restaurants in the region has put a strain on the workforce, and we are pleased there are efforts underway to fill this void in the marketplace.”
Culinary Institute of Virginia is a division of ECPI College of Technology. The curriculum was developed by ECPI with advisors from the New England Culinary Institute. Culinary Institute of Virginia offers a European educational model that combines classroom instruction with hands-on externships in the community. Students work alongside professional chef instructors in kitchens with equipment commonly found in the industry. The first year curriculum concentrates on the basics such as culinary techniques as recognized in kitchens throughout the world; principles of baking; introduction to table and beverage service; and culinary science.
Graduates from the 72-week program 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.