Chefs in the Making at SUNY Delhi

Published 02/24 2014 04:41PM

Updated 02/26 2014 11:54AM

There's a growing emphasis on colleges preparing their students for successful careers. Culinary arts is a course of study that allows people to express their creativity without sacrificing job opportunities.

Delhi says its class sizes are small, allowing plenty of individual attention. And each of the 13 faculty members has their own specialty.

"There's somebody for everybody who comes here,” said Julee Miller. “We're kind of a small community, like a family.”

There are 350 Culinary Arts Majors within the Hospitality Management Department. Michelle DeGeronimo is in her second year and is keeping her options open.

"I could work in a lot of different places. I could work on a cruise ship if I wanted, I could start working on a food truck, I could work in a restaurant, which is probably what I'm going to end up doing because it's a lot of fun. There's a lot of options for me when I graduate, which is good,” said DeGeronimo.

SUNY Delhi offers a two year Associate of Applied Science that's focused on the technical side, basically learning to cook. Students can continue on for a Bachelors of Business Administration in Culinary Arts Management if they hope to one day own or manage a restaurant.

"We've grown exponentially in the last 10 years,” said David Brower. I think a lot of it has to do with the rise of the prominence of the celebrity chef, the Food Network."

SUNY Delhi is accredited through the American Culinary Federation. And, in 2010 and 2012, the hot food team won the ACF National Championship.

The program teaches more than cooking techniques, stressing organization, sanitation and time management. Mark Garcia says working as a team lays an important foundation.

"Maybe one day, I'll be able to call the shots and hopefully teach the way I was taught,” said Garcia.

In fact, Garcia says after a career in cooking, he'd be interested in bringing his skills back to the classroom as an instructor.

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