Culinary Arts

Learn to lead a kitchen when you study with the award-winning faculty at one of North Carolina’s leading culinary schools, then start your culinary career with an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts.

The culinary arts program at GTCC is one of only two North Carolina culinary schools that is accredited by the American Culinary Federation’s Educational Institute at the Exemplary level. Put theory into practice both at GTCC’s on-campus student-run restaurant and off campus with two work-based learning externships that are designed to give you real-world hands-on experience that supports your degree.

You will also have the opportunity to show off the skills and knowledge you learn by earning a place on one of GTCC’s award-winning Knowledge Bowl, Ice Carving, or SkillsUSA teams.

Credentialing Options

Program Outcomes and Success Measures

2018 Culinary Arts – AAS
Graduation Rate Job Placement Rate ACF Certification Rate
38.6% 75% 40.5%


2017 Culinary Arts – AAS
Graduation Rate Job Placement Rate ACF Certification Rate
43% N/A 10.25%

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to follow the general enrollment process for GTCC. During the advising process, you will have the opportunity to indicate your desire to study within this curriculum. Your advisor will help you sign up for the courses you need.

  • Linda Beitz, CHE, Associate Professor, 33 years in the industry
  • Keith Gardiner, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, Professor, 40 years in the industry
  • Thomas Lantz, CCE, Assistant Professor, 30 years in the industry
  • Michele Prairie, CHE, Instructor, 25 years in the industry
  • Alan Romano, CEC, CCE, AAC, Professor, 40 years in the industry
  • L.J. Rush, CEC, Program Director and Associate Professor, 35 years in the industry
  • Allison Brooks, Administrative Assistant

Yes. Financial aid is available if you qualify. Please visit our Financial Aid web page or call the Financial Aid office at 336-334-4822, Option 3.

Yes, if you have a high school diploma. Please note that Safety and Sanitation is a requirement for many of our lab classes. Passing the National Exam and receiving your Servsafe Certification is required to continue through the program.

Kitchen Lab students will be required to purchase, and bring to all lab classes, a professionally suitable knife set, consisting of:
  • French knife, paring knife, bird's beak paring knife, boning knife, serrated or slicing knife
  • Peeler, zester, pallet knife, #5 star tip, #5 plain tip
  • Two 14-inch pastry bags, channel knife, sharpening steel, food service thermometer, digital scale, and classical knife cuts 3-D model set.

Requirements for all classes (and GTCC-sponsored events) where food is prepared or served:

  • Fingernails must not be long (nails can extend no more than 1/16” past the tip of the finger), be neatly trimmed, and have no nail polish
  • Hair must be a natural shade, clean and neat
  • Beards or mustaches must be neatly trimmed / scruffy or “five o’clock shadow” facial hair is not acceptable
  • No visible piercings
  • Pants and shirt must be impeccably clean, pressed, well fitting, and in excellent condition
  • Shoes must be well maintained and clean
  • Perfumes, colognes, and scented lotions are not permitted
  • Chewing gum is not permitted
  • No visible undergarments, other than the collar of a plain white/solid color T-shirt (no print) 

Kitchen lab classes (and GTCC-sponsored food preparation events) dress requirements:

  • Uniform consisting of a white chef's coat, black checked pants, white floppy cook's hat, white bib apron, black or white socks, two (2) clean side towels, and black nonslip work shoes
  • Hair should be neat and fully restrained either under a cook's hat or by use of a hair net
  • Name tag or name embroidered in black on the chef’s coat is required
  • No earrings and no jewelry, except for a plain wedding band
  • Watches are to be removed but can be attached to the uniform

Food & Beverage Service lab classes (and GTCC-sponsored food service events) dress requirements:

  • (Order) Black Dress Pants – available in the bookstore
  • (Order) Black dress shirt from the bookstore before your first class
  • Black bistro apron
  • Black long socks
  • Black non-slip shoes (tennis shoes are not acceptable)
  • Show your personality with your tie (no bow ties)
  • One earring permissible on each ear, no larger than a nickel
  • One watch and one ring are permitted

Lecture classrooms (all programs) dress requirements:

  • Complete chef’s uniform – must be buttoned
  • GTCC pineapple polo shirt in black or green or black/white dress shirt from service class (Shirts are thin, so please wear neutral undergarments.)
  • Black or khaki dress pants (no leggings or tight-fitting pants)
  • Closed-toe non-slip shoes with socks
  • Not being in the proper attire will result in a zero for the class.

Students enrolled in the diploma in mobile catering and food truck management will work on the Green Machine serving food at one of GTCC’s campuses.

The dining room at GTCC’s Koury Hospitality Careers Building is open on Tuesday and Thursday during the Fall and Spring semesters. The dining room is staffed and managed by students, and the food is prepared by students in the kitchen.

Three of the faculty members have won “Chef of the Year” honors from the American Culinary Federation. Many have won teaching honors at the local, regional, and national level. Many have won gold, silver, and bronze medals at hot and cold food competitions.

In addition, 100% of the faculty at GTCC have distinguished themselves with industry certification through the American Culinary Federation and/or the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Educational Institute.

The French word “chef” means chief or supervisor. When you graduate from the culinary arts program you will be a journeyman cook. You will become a chef when you are the supervisor or person in charge of a kitchen.

While professional culinary experience and a culinary degree will prepare you to become a chef, no previous experience is required to begin the culinary degree program.

No. Many students complete their culinary education while managing work and family obligations. It may take a little longer, but you will learn skills in the program that can be applied to the work place immediately. 

You can begin your degree program in the Fall or the Spring semester. During the summer term, you can take care of general education requirements and/or prerequisites.

Yes. GTCC has a new baking and pastry kitchen and is offering a diploma in baking and pastry.