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The northern Virginia area includes Loudon, Prince William, Fairfax and Arlington counties. One school in this area offers cooking classes through an apprenticeship and certificate program; another offers continuing education courses in cooking, with offerings such as cake decorating and bread making. These schools are discussed below, along with a comparison table that includes school information and cost of attendance.
Northern Virginia Community College
In partnership with the Nation's Capital Chef's Association, Northern Virginia Community College offers a 31-credit apprenticeship and certificate program at its Annandale campus. Depending on prior coursework and industry-related experience, the apprenticeship program can take up to three years to complete and includes 6,000 hours of training under the direction of a qualified professional. Training takes place at clubs, hotels or restaurants, and students also spend one day a week on campus.
Class work specific to cooking includes a 2-course sequence in culinary basics, as well as topics in sanitation and safety, baking and garde manger (cold food). Students also learn how to manage a hotel restaurant and can take electives in food purchasing, menu planning and nutrition. Upon receipt of their certificates, aspiring professionals can take the American Culinary Federation's Certified Cook exam and may be qualified as journeyman cooks (U.S. Department of Labor).
A similar course of study can be found in the Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management program, with a specialization in food service management.
Located in Winchester, Shenandoah University offers short-term cooking classes through its Center for Lifelong Learning. Past offering have included a 5-night Italian cooking course that covered topics associated with appetizers, entrees and desserts. Adult education students could also pursue a one-day workshop in bread making, as well as multi-session courses in cake baking and decorating. The Spring 2016 catalog offers a focused, 5-week course on the safe and practical use of herbs and herbal dietary supplements, along with courses on catering and preparing low-fat meals.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Cooking Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Northern Virginia Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Culinary Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Food Service Management
|Shenandoah University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Continuing Education Courses||$89-$110 per course**|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **School website.