When culinary students begin their career training, they know that experience is the best teacher. That’s why Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College offers just that, but in a variety of ways. Each campus location offers a variety of trained professional chefs who teach and guide the students as they undertake the intense 36-week program. Part of their program requirements include an externship where students gain real world experience.
And in three cities where Culinard is offered, Virginia College kicks things up a notch with individual, chef-driven restaurants that are specifically designed to support its culinary students.
Kitchen on Cary, located in Richmond, Virginia, Kitchen on San Marco, located in Jacksonville, Florida, and Kitchen on George, located in Mobile, Alabama, have been wowing patrons with their seasonal, regional and sustainable menus since the opening
of the restaurants in 2013, 2015 and 2011, respectively. These three restaurants support the professional development of aspiring chefs through their externship program which are only available to Culinard students from any Culinard location.
Each restaurant supports Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Richmond, Jacksonville and Mobile, where students are trained by industry professionals at each location. The experience provides a hands-on learning lab, allowing the restaurants to double as teaching establishments for culinary and pastry art students seeking real-world experience, all while giving guests a unique dining experience.
“We are delighted to offer this experience as part of our ACF-accredited programs at our locations. It allows us to continue our mission to offer the industry standard in training, with an ultimate target of success for our graduates in the marketplace,” says Chef Antony Osborne, National Dean of Culinary and Hospitality Programs.
Culinard students are given the invaluable opportunity to learn from industry professionals like Executive Chef Michael Macknight of Kitchen on Cary, Executive Chef Ryan Randolph of Kitchen on San Marco and Executive Chef Bryan Cates of Kitchen on George. The externship provides a firsthand look at the culinary profession and the opportunity to immerse oneself in the industry, preparing meals for diners and assisting with catering efforts for special events.
While the eateries fall under the same umbrella of ownership, Education Corporation of America, they are far from a typical, corporate-run chain. These restaurants utilize
local purveyors and growers whenever possible, so, in turn, their Chef-driven menus and atmospheres reflect the unique character of their respective cities.
Kitchen on Cary has won numerous awards in recent years. The restaurant’s locally sourced and seasonal American dining paired with its commitment to locally sourced and seasonally inspired cuisine has proven popular among the Richmond community. Plus, its farm-to-table strategy allows Culinard students to work with fresh ingredients and craft dishes that feature big, local flavor, all at an affordable price. A seasoned veteran of the Virginia culinary scene, Macknight’s style of cuisine unites global and Southern regional flavors, grounded in both modern and classic French cooking techniques – all perfectly complemented by ingredients from local and regional vendors.
Under the direction of Randolph, Kitchen on San Marco has experienced great success in the last two years, earning several honors from Jacksonville diners. The restaurant has been voted “Best Farm to Table Restaurant” by Jacksonville.com/Florida Times-Union readers, perfectly aligning with Randolph’s passion of serving delectable fare consisting of locally sourced ingredients.
Kitchen on George has made a name for itself the last five years and has been honored with numerous awards. Cates is a familiar face in the Mobile culinary scene and has most recently been named “Alabama’s Top Up-and-Coming Chefs to Watch in 2016” by Mobile Press-Register/AL.com. Cates’s passion lies in developing recipes with a high attention to small details that enhance the quality of the dish–from sides and vegetables to desserts and wine pairings.
Through its partnership with these award-winning restaurants, Culinard offers amazing experiences for its students who are seeking a culinary career at fine-dining establishments such as Kitchen on Cary, Kitchen on San Marco and Kitchen on George. The program is committed to offering students the opportunity to earn a superior, intensive education in the culinary arts. Students that graduate from the program go on to utilize the valuable skills they gained, and some are even hired by the restaurants where they received their experience.
For more information about Culinard, please visit www.culinard.com.