Barry R. Young, CEC, CCE, AAC, MBA, is an assistant professor and culinary apprentice coordinator at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio. The apprenticeship program at Columbus State is one of American Culinary Federation’s legacy programs dating back to 1977. More than 700 students have graduated from the program since the first graduating class in 1980.
While employed, the apprentices attend classes at Columbus State one full day each week to work toward the associate of applied science degree. The Columbus State program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission. Chef Young shares what makes the apprenticeship program at Columbus State unique.
What kind of apprenticeship opportunities does the Columbus State program offer?
Our program offers a culinary apprenticeship; we also have programs in restaurant management, dietetics, baking & pastry and travel tourism.
Who began the apprenticeship program and what year was it established?
Carol Kizer, CCE, RD, HAAC, began the apprenticeship program with the help of Chef Ziggy Allespach and other chefs of the ACF Columbus Chapter. The program was established in September 1977 and the first class graduated in 1980.
How has the apprenticeship program at your school changed over the years?
Our apprenticeship program has gone from a three-year, 6,000-hour program to a two-year, 4,000-hour program, with two semesters of prerequisite that must be met before entering the apprenticeship program. This delayed admission helps students identify whether this is the career for them and provides the opportunity to move into one of the other hospitality programs if the apprenticeship is not their choice.
Our apprenticeship program remains strong with students who have a desire to be chefs one day. The program has evolved over the years, but continues to focus on the basics and foundational cooking techniques, and the skills fortified with real-world experience in the field with supervising chefs.
What do you feel is the future of culinary apprenticeships?
Culinary apprenticeships can grow with the proper support from the culinary industry and educational institutions. This has the potential to create a strong partnership, especially once a culture is present where a community can potentially have second- and third-generation chefs who have gone through the program and inspire a vital and thriving culinary learning environment for decades to come.
It takes time and effort, but once a program is established and all partners have a buy-in, the program will continue to grow talent for their business.
What do you feel makes an ACFEF-accredited apprenticeship different from other apprenticeships?
One can get a culinary certification without education and apprenticeship, but how many do, how difficult is it and how likely is it to happen? Many people go through an apprenticeship that is not accredited and they may do well; but is it the complete package? I doubt it.
It is my opinion that ACFEF-accredited apprenticeships exceed others apprenticeships for several reasons:
- Students are documented and their work is described.
- The work is confirmed
- Students are revisited and continually appraised.
- There is support from the work site and the educational institution working in conjunction for the growth and betterment of the apprentices (this creates well-rounded culinarians not only for the industry, but also the community).
- Life-long learning is stressed through certification. This confirms what they have completed for the apprenticeship, not to mention the networking opportunities that are made available through the apprenticeship program.
How does the apprenticeship program prepare apprentices for ACF certification and why is this important?
The apprenticeship program at Columbus State Community College prepares our apprentices to receive their Certified Sous Chef (CSC) certification. Their work experience and educational experience must meet very specific criteria and documentation in order for the apprentices to receive their certification.
This is important because it provides the apprentices a head start in their careers. They may spend a bit longer in school, but in the end they receive much more practical training that prepares them for their career as a chef in the culinary industry.
For more information on ACFEF apprenticeship programs, fill out the contact form below and someone from the ACF national office will be in touch. Can’t wait? Call us today at (904) 484-0217 or visit our website at www.acfchefs.org/apprenticeship.