Chefs in Training: Vernon College Culinary Academy

Skilled chefs are needed in Texoma and Vernon College Culinary Academy is training people to be just that.

Texomans are putting on their chef hats and taking their skills into the kitchen.
Frank Cordero, Head Chef and Instructor of the academy comments, "I can give a lot of personal attention that I wouldn't be able to do in a class that was maybe 20 people."

Chefs are not only learning how to cook, but learning how to manage a kitchen. Cordero says, "You're not only getting an education from text books and from applicable knowledge which is the kitchen, but you know how to apply it when you leave our doors. The chefs will have the skills to go out and decide to open their own business, which I hope my students will be doing."

And these chefs in training will be qualified enough to fill the needed jobs in the Texoma area once they graduate. Michelle Wood, Director of Continuing Education at Vernon College comments, "It's hard for people to find work, but it's also hard for employers to find skilled workers. That's what we are trying to do with this program." Wood says the college partnered with Burkburnett ISD to provide this culinary academy located in Burkburnett. Vernon College students as well as Burkburnett High School students are eligible to take courses in the program. They are using a brand new state of the art kitchen.

Academy officials encourage students to sign up. Wood says, "You've got an instructor who's been there and knows how to set up things. He knows how to keep the cost of your production down, so that you can actually make money in the restaurant industry. We have it in our own backyard so take advantage of it."

The Culinary Academy opened its doors in August. North Texas Workforce Solutions is also teaming up and providing scholarship money for students in need.

If you are interested in the signing up for the Vernon College Culinary Academy you can contact staff at (940) 696 - 8752, ext: 3295.

The program also provides cooking lessons open to the public once a month.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6