Graduates find sweet salaries
A dash of spice, the sizzle of beef and a hefty serving of academics is taking students at Nashua Community College through a Culinary Arts degree program proven to harvest the rich reward of quick employment upon graduation.
Some locals sampled the students’ tasty wares on Sept. 6 at one of the weekly “Chef’s Table” luncheons, events featuring cuisines from around the world prepared and served by culinary students in the Wellness Center Cafe at NCC, 505 Amherst St. That day, American Regional Cuisine of New England was featured. Lunch is 11:30 a.m., Tuesdays, September through early December.
“The program earns graduates an Associate of Science degree in Culinary Arts,” said Professor John Knorr, department chairperson of Hospitality & Culinary Arts and a resident of Nottingham. “It’s a well balanced degree with hands-on training that gets them hired, fast.”
The instructor of American Regional Cuisine is Joseph Allison, of Hudson, certified executive chef at Nashua Country Club and adjunct instructor at NCC. Allison Rheaume, of Milford, culinary lab assistant, teaches Baking & Pastry. Steve Owens, an adjunct professor from Gilmanton, specializes in Classical French & International. Keith Desjardin, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, presents Intermediate Foods.
Appetizers for 16 participants pre-registered online included pan-fried cod cakes in house-made tartar sauce. Butternut squash soup with bay scallops and mushrooms was a choice. Tender chicken breast with apples and pears was an entree, as was poached haddock with mussels and julienned veggies. A buttery peach and blueberry cobbler followed.
Nashuans Denise Pliske and Suzanne Koperniak shared a table with guest Edward Fleming, 94, a WWII Navy veteran from Merrimack who pronounced the fare, “The best you could ever ask — the tops!”
“I love supporting the culinary arts program,” added Koperniak. “The food is great.”
The hospitality and culinary arts industry is ripe with job opportunities, Knorr noted. Hotel and restaurant staff, banquet chefs, cooks and line cooks are needed. Food safety specialists, nutritionists, catering cooks and other positions cry for talent. Online inquiries reveal substantial national average salaries.
More information is available by visiting: nashuacc.edu. Reservations to an upcoming lunch featuring foods from diverse regions can be made online: https://nashuacc.edu/about/for-the-public/culinary-arts-luncheons. Emails to Professor John Knorr are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org.