BCCC debuts new culinary lab

Published 4:47 pm Monday, October 31, 2016

The Continuing Education Department at Beaufort County Community College cut the ribbon on a new restaurant-grade culinary lab on Friday.

A culinary class is already making use of the new equipment. The culinary program is also the first program to be named after a donor.

The Frances Morgan Roberson Culinary Arts Program is funded by an endowment established by the estate of William R. Roberson Jr. Roberson bequeathed money to the foundation to establish the culinary program and fund its operation.

On hand at the ribbon cutting were BCCC President Dr. Barbara Tansey, Vice President of Continuing Education Stacey Gerard, Zoph Potts of the BCCC Foundation, Beaufort County Commissioner Jerry Langley and Dr. Charlie Mike Smith on behalf of the Roberson estate. The Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce hosted the event.

Instructors Paul Cyr and Morten Hoj prepared food for the reception with the help of culinary students. Michele Harris provided harp music.

The culinary arts program will give students the experience they need to work at local restaurants or build on their current skillset. While personal enrichment classes will also take place in the new culinary lab, the program is geared toward professional cooks and chefs who will gain training on the equipment they will work with in a commercial kitchen. Local restaurant owners helped develop the program based on the gaps in training they saw in applicants and employees.

“We are excited to be able to offer such a great community resource here at BCCC,” said Lou Stout, director of workforce initiatives. “Plans for a culinary program have been in the making for quite a while. Not only will job seekers gain valuable skills towards employment, the community will be able to take various classes and learn skills to impress their family and friends!”

“I have been waiting for the college to get a program like this going,” said Anita Price, a student in the first class making use of the new facility. “I’ve cooked at home for years, but it’s nice to dust off my skills and work with professional chefs.”

Community members can sign up for “Holiday Party Foods” with Elaine Roberson starting Nov. 8 if they would like to experience the new culinary lab. To register, please call 252-940-6375.