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CCCC offers new Culinary Arts degree program

Click to enlarge CCCC offers new Culinary Arts degree program

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Central Carolina Community College, with Chef Gregg Hamm as instructor, launches a new two-year Culinary ... (more)

03.07.2012College & CommunityCollege GeneralCurriculum Programs

PITTSBORO - Central Carolina Community College is launching a new Culinary Arts degree program for future chefs and restaurant managers with popular Chef Gregg Hamm as the instructor.

The two-year Culinary Arts Associate in Applied Science degree program starts in the fall at the college's Chatham County Campus, in Pittsboro. Hamm has been the college's Natural Chef Culinary Arts continuing education program instructor since 2011.

"This new degree program offers classic culinary arts training with a focus on local foods, whole foods, health, and sustainability," Hamm said, "but it will be much more than cooking. Graduates will have the tools necessary to manage a restaurant or bed and breakfast as well as produce authentic 'Farm to Fork' regionally based sustainable cuisine."

Hamm, a Sanford resident, grew up in North Carolina and Virginia with a deep appreciation of traditional Southern cooking. He graduated from Johnson and Wales University's College of Culinary Arts in Charleston, S.C., and still serves on the institution's Educator Advisory Council. Johnson and Wales is the largest food service educator in the world. He also holds a N.C. Culinary Arts Teaching License and a ServSafe Instructor License.

After graduation, Hamm taught hospitality and culinary arts at Lee County High School for 11 years. Under his guidance, the students ran the popular Culinary Cafe at the school, serving breakfast and lunch, filling take-out orders and catering events. In 2008, Chef Hamm opened his own restaurant, Cafe 121, in downtown Sanford

The Culinary Arts associate degree program will be taught in the Sustainable Technology Center at the Chatham County Campus, in Pittsboro.

Graduates of the two-year program will qualify for jobs such as entry-level sous chef, advanced baker, lead catering director, and other leadership positions.

"The curriculum is also designed to prepare students for local purchasing, sustainability, and the health focus demand of the culinary industry," Hamm said.

He added that the Culinary Arts program will work with the college's Sustainable Agriculture program and local farmers, using locally grown whole foods. No genetically modified oils or foods will be used. Environmentally friendly practices in the program include the recycling of used cooking oil as biofuel for the Sustainable Agriculture program's tractor.

Culinary Arts course work includes restaurant management, kitchen operations, menu planning, purchasing, and nutrition. Students will operate the Natural Chef Cafe at the campus, giving them real-world food service operations experience and promoting sustainable business management. Training will include catering, sanitation, food safety, and customer service.

In addition to their degree, graduates will receive national ServSafe certification and be eligible to join the National Association of Nutritional Professionals, National Restaurant Association, American Culinary Federation, and other national culinary organizations.

"We are excited about offering this program to the area, especially with such a well-qualified chef and great teacher as Chef Hamm," said Dr. Karen Allen, CCCC provost for Chatham County. "The college is committed to educating residents for employability in the green economy and Culinary Arts, with its sustainability focus, is another great way accomplish that goal."

For more information about the new Culinary Arts Associate in Applied Science degree program, contact Chef Gregg Hamm at or (919) 545-8070.