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CCAC’s Culinary Arts program continues to prepare students for rewarding careers

culinary student cooking with professor looking onPITTSBURGH—Although the restaurant industry has weathered some serious challenges since the onset of COVID-19, the acclaimed Community College of Allegheny County Culinary Arts program continues to train chefs and culinary experts for positions that will open up as the industry returns to normal. CCAC’s Culinary Arts Associate of Science program includes extensive hands-on training and is ideal for individuals who want to turn their creative flair and love of food into a rewarding career as a chef or culinary expert. 

To help ensure the safety of students and staff, all of the program lectures are being conducted online. The kitchen labs meet in person, with additional safety measures in place, so students are able to hone their culinary skills. The number of people in the kitchen classes at one time is limited, and students and staff wear masks as well as face shields, which are sanitized before and after class. 

CCAC students enjoy the lowest tuition of any culinary program in Allegheny County. They also learn from award-winning chefs with many years of industry experience. Associate Professor and Program Coordinator Arthur Inzinga, a member of the program’s first graduating class, has more than 40 years of experience in the industry, which includes cooking for the G20 Summit in 2009. Inzinga previously was an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, as was CCAC Associate Professor Roger Levine, who joined the growing program in 2018. Inzinga noted that many segments of the industry are operating as normal and have a need for skilled chefs, such as health care food service.

“People will always need to eat,” said Inzinga. “By the time that students who enroll now graduate in two years, this slowdown will be behind us, so the timing couldn't be better.”

Culinary Arts graduate Alyce Toombs is the kitchen manager and chef at Top Golf in Bridgeville. She is solely responsible for the entire prep area and supervises seven prep cooks. Prior to enrolling at CCAC, Toombs worked as a housekeeper and was living paycheck to paycheck. 

“CCAC means so much to me. I applied to the culinary program and was accepted, and right then my life’s direction changed,” said Toombs. “I owe my success to Chef Inzinga, who I consider to be my mentor. I now have a fantastic job that I love and am making fantastic money.”

The Culinary Arts program also offers a two-semester certificate, which is ideal for individuals who already have a degree or who want to get into the food service industry with a credential but cannot commit to two years of education. 

To learn more about CCAC’s Culinary Arts program, contact Associate Professor Art Inzinga at ainzinga@ccac.edu. For program details, visit CCAC’s Culinary Arts Program. To register and enroll, go to CCAC Admissions.