Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College
Focused on the passion to create and operating under the principle of fine cuisine is an art not simply “good food”. Culinard – The Culinary Institute of Virginia College enjoys an excellent reputation as a leader in culinary arts education. Committed to sharing their knowledge, and passion for the culinary arts with each student, the school’s team of faculty and staff not only helps graduates develop a taste for success, but the skills required to develop a successful career in the hospitality industry. Founded in 2000, the school has ten campus locations across eight states, including Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Birmingham, Alabama; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Ft. Pierce, Florida; Greensboro, North Carolina; Greenville, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Savannah, Georgia. A major focal point of the culinary program is the award-winning retail restaurants including:
Kitchen on San Marco in Jacksonville, Florida
Kitchen on George in Mobile, Alabama
Culinard Café at Innovation Depot in Birmingham, Alabama
Led by the National Dean of Culinary and Hospitality Programs, Chef Antony Osborne, the program offers some of the most comprehensive culinary instruction available. This instruction includes a fast track foundation program that allows students an early entry into the hospitality field, and the ability to continue those studies online while earning invaluable experience working in the industry. Virginia College’s culinary program is the first program in the country to have a customized version of My Culinary Lab, an inter-active web-based learning system for its introductory cooking course. Popular among students, the program follows the skills and competencies as set out by the American Culinary Federation.
Culinard – Culinary Arts Programs
Culinary Arts Diploma – 36 Week Program Designed to enable students to find an entry-level job upon graduation, the program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation and provides hands on practical training including fundamental, intermediate and advanced food production skills, baking skills, garde manager and mixology.
Pastry Arts Diploma – 36 Week Program Designed to provide students with a diversified education in practical pastry chef training and baking preparation, the program covers contemporary techniques including plated desserts, decorative media, in addition to sugar and chocolate show pieces, wedding cake disciplines, and key food service management skills.
Culinary Arts Associate Degree – Online For students pursuing an associate degree and broader skill base to increase opportunities for employment and future advancement. The program offers a practical curriculum and real-world instruction using convenient, online classes for students with prior formal culinary training at a post-secondary level.
The Culinary Arts program of Virginia College is possible through the dedication and efforts of professionals and experts of the culinary world. The following are a cross section of industry experts who have extensive experience working in the hospitality field, chosen to be part of the National Review Board which review the Culinard culinary program:
Chef Frank Stitt – Chef Owner & Restauranteur – Highlands Bar & Grill, Chez Fon Fon & Bottega – James Beard Winner (Who’s who Food & Beverage 2011 & named best chef of the Southeast 2001)
Chef Tory McPhail – Executive Chef – Commanders Palace – James Beard Winner (Best Chef of the South Award 2014)
Chef Norbert Kostner – Culinary Director – The Mandarin Oriental Group – The Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand – 40 years. Voted one of the world’s best hotels.
Mr. Hans Van Der Reijden – Managing Director Hotel Operations & Educational Initiative – The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Centre – Previously worked Ritz Carlton Hotels
Mrs. Judy Brown – Education Specialist, M.A., NBCT, 2008 ACTE National Teacher of the Year – Alabama State Department of Education
Chef Bill Hoffman – HOF Enterprises – Certified Executive Chef –and programmatic Chef Evaluator for the American Culinary Federation
Chef Antony Osborne: National Dean of Culinary and Hospitality programsfor the Education Corporation of America.
As a professional chef you lived and worked in thirty-eight countries at some of the world’s best restaurants. What inspired your move into culinary education?
I have been most fortunate to have travelled extensively and seen things that most people can only dream about. I felt it was time to give back and to share these experiences with the future culinarians of this industry.
How does the methodology of teaching differ in a school environment from an apprenticeship in the kitchen?
In a school situation it is more of a learning environment where we are working on building the necessary skills and competencies of the student to be successful in the hospitality industry. Students are also exposed to as many different products as possible, giving them a broader understanding of what is out there and available to them. In a school environment you are exposed to many learning platforms being taught by a variety of experienced professionals, whereas an apprenticeship you are exposed to one individual.
What are you most proud of accomplishing as National dean of Culinary and Hospitality programs for the Education Corporation of America?
I would be remiss if I did not mention the Culinard program directors and faculty in my reply. These dedicated professionals play an integral part in Culinard’s success and are the lifeline of this program. Without their support the Culinard program would not be where it is today.
What does it mean to be a graduate of Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College?
Being a Culinard graduate means that the student has met the programmatic requirements of the American Culinary Federation, and has the necessary skills and knowledge that other people entering into the industry may not have, giving them a competitive edge. Students also have for life, the full backing of the programs chef Instructors, career services and Alumni.
Who are some of employers that the school has built a good working relationship with over the years?
The school has built several important relationships with James Beard winning chefs such as Chef Frank Stitt in Birmingham, Chef Tory McPhail at Commanders Palace, Disney World in Florida, as well as The Biltmore Hotel. We also have a very strong connection with the local community in preparing chefs to help service their needs.
How much do you miss working in the restaurant industry? Not only being in a particular kitchen, but the every day routine; the feeling of relevance, staying “in touch?”
There are occasions I would admit that I do miss the buzz and everyday routines of working in the industry. However, in all sincerity, I am at a place in my life where my responsibilities have changed, and I am at peace with this decision, as it allows me to build on these experiences when creating course curriculum to benefit my students, by creating a curriculum that provides market readiness to help set these students up for success once they graduate from the program. I am afforded, occasionally, the opportunity to cook with the students participating in various special events such as Birmingham’s Break N’ Bread Festival and the Royal Cup coffee dinner, which I do relish. For staying in touch I do this through LinkedIn.
“A place where students seek not to simply develop a taste for the finest cuisine, but a taste for success.”
-Part of Culinard Mission Statement
Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to award certificates, diplomas, associates, bachelors, and masters degrees, tuition for the 2016-2017 academic year at Culinard – The Culinary Institute of Virginia College costs $15,900. Notable alumni include Chef Guy Rogers of The Colony of the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, Alabama; Chef Eric Helfinstine with 7 Place Café in Clanton, Alabama; Daniel Millsap of Ovintéin Jacksonville, Florida; and Executive Chef Carl Tilley of Kitchen on George, Mobile, AL who is the 2014 Lagniappe Magazine Best Chef.