Want to Turn Cooking or Baking into a Career? WCC Has the Program for You!

Have a passion for cooking or baking and want to make it a career?  Did you know that Wilson Community College has a Culinary Arts program that’ll help you do that?

In fact, the Culinary Arts program enrollment has doubled over the last few years. This program is practical and hands-on, and our students cook every day. Much of their first year is dedicated to learning techniques and the basics of cooking and baking. As students sharpen (no pun intended) their skills, they are given opportunities to forge their own creative paths. While they still take the same classes, students learn to integrate their own cooking styles into dishes. This environment encourages them to experiment, discover, and create their own culinary personality.

The program is aligned with jobs in the area too.  Beginning in their second year, students have the opportunity to experience the culinary industry and learn in work-based environments. This is important for them not only to learn to cook but also to learn the restaurant side of the culinary business. It prepares them for the workforce, and in many instances, that real-world learning opportunity turns into a full-time job after graduation.

The culinary kitchen and lab are state-of-the-art, with industrial-grade equipment. We also have a cold dessert and pastry kitchen to use for our baking courses. This allows us to efficiently utilize our space to accommodate more students and more courses.

In the Contemporary Cuisines course, students learn about the various cuisines across the United States and prepare meals from each region. In fact, our instructor, Chef David Bishop, invites all employees to sample the foods that our students prepare.  And it’s amazing!  Other courses include sanitation/safety, baking, garde manger (preparing cold foods), culinary fundamentals/production skills, nutrition, customer service, purchasing/cost control, and human resource management.

Our culinary students are so fortunate to learn from one of the best. Chef Bishop is our lead Culinary Arts instructor.  He was trained at and graduated from Johnson and Wales Culinary School in New York. Chef has over 40 years of culinary experience, serving as a chef in various positions in government agencies, catering companies, and restaurants. He has also operated his own catering business for the last 30 years.

And one of our graduates, Tripp Sauls, also teaches for us – and he’s a familiar face to many Wilsonians.  He and his wife own a certified home bakery called Around the Table.

The degree program provides specific training required to prepare students to assume positions as trained culinary professionals in a variety of food service settings, including full-service restaurants, hotels, resorts, clubs, catering operations, contract food service, and healthcare facilities. With experience, graduates may advance to positions including sous chef, pastry chef, executive chef, or food service manager.

In addition to the Culinary Arts degree, we offer a popular Baking and Pastry Certificate. This 14-credit hour certificate prepares individuals to work as a pastry chef in the baking/pastry industry, including restaurants, hotels, baking/pastry shops, and retail markets. All courses in this certificate are integrated into our Culinary Arts degree, as well.

For more information about the Culinary Arts program, contact Allisha Hicks, Dean of Business and Applied Technologies, at ahicks@wilsoncc.edu or (252) 246-1339, or Chef David Bishop, Culinary Instructor, at dbishop@wilsoncc.edu or (252) 246-1273.

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Due to the threat of severe weather, the college will be closed on Friday, September 7, 2023.