Academics :: School of Business, Technology & Trades

Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program

*Mandatory Open House for Culinary Students*
Wednesday, August 20th from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Claude Moore Building, Room 106

The Associate of Applied Science and Career Studies Certificate programs are designed to produce the trained hospitality and tourism workforce necessary to realize the Region’s goal in establishing the Roanoke Valley area as a travel, convention, and tourism destination. Such a workforce will not only serve our visitors, but will also enrich our community by providing quality dining and memorable hospitality experiences in our local restaurants, clubs, and hotels. Based on statewide projections, during the next decade there will be a great demand for qualified culinary workers at multiple levels to service the growing needs of the culinary and hospitality industry in our society. As a provider of a skilled culinary and hospitality workforce, we will support the various regional economic development initiatives through our partnership with area businesses and public sector organizations. Completion of the Associate of Applied Science degree satisfies the American Culinary Federation eligibility requirements to test for both the Certified Culinarian (CC) and Certified Pastry Culinarian (CPC) designations. Visit the American Culinary Federation website for further information.

Students completing the 27-credit hour Career Studies Certificate program receive a technical education foundation in food production, the culinary arts field, and an introduction to the hospitality industry. The Associate of Applied Science curriculum provides additional technical education in the culinary arts while requiring general education courses which may lead to other postsecondary educational opportunities. Both curricula are competency-based, and dual enrollment opportunities with secondary school programs in the college's service area are available.

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Mission and Goals

The mission of the Virginia Western Community College Culinary Program is to:

  • Equip the students with the needed skills to enter into the culinary industry.
  • Prepare the students to be professionals at all times.
  • Create lasting relationships with local businesses and citizens of the Roanoke Region, to promote economic vitality of the area.

The mission can be achieved through adherence to the following goals:

  • Teaching professionalism daily; leading by example.
  • Creating partnerships with local, charitable organizations, to give students opportunity to hone skills.
  • Teaching the demands of the food service industry in a realistic manner.
  • Commitment to upholding the high standards of the food service industry.
  • Creating an atmosphere conducive to learning.
  • Encourage students to continue their education.
  • Garnering mutual respect.

Mandatory Cutlery and Uniform Requirements

Click here to download the cutlery and uniform purchasing requirements (for Culinary Arts students). (PDF)

Click here to download the baking uniform pricing (for Baking and Pastry students). (PDF)

Additional Information (PDF)

culinary kitchen students working in culinary kitchen culinary kitchen students working in culinary kitchen culinary kitchen students working in culinary kitchen students working in culinary kitchen

Non-Credit Cooking Classes

Put your apron on and join the Culinary Institute at Virginia Western for our cooking classes. Our restaurant standard kitchen set-up invites you to step into the world of a professional chef. Our chefs will tempt your taste buds with the recipes they have planned. Participants will gain hands-on knowledge of basic cooking techniques while incorporating fresh ingredients into delicious culinary creations. Participants will receive recipe cards. Non-alcoholic beverages will be served. Comfortable clothing is suggested and a closed toe shoe is mandatory.

Click here to see our currently available classes.

To register for classes, please complete our free of charge on-line application for non-credit classes by clicking here. Contact our Admissions Office at 540-857-7231 (press #9 for a person) if you have any application questions. To access a paper application, please click here. Payment must be made the same day of registration. All classes are held in the Culinary kitchen located at 109 Henry Street NW behind the Roanoke Higher Education Center (click here for directions/parking information). Contact Lacey Carey at 540-857-6210 if you have further questions.

Contact Information

Program Head

James Zeisler, Sr., CEC, CCA, CDM, CFPP
Instructor, Culinary Arts
540-982-3890 ext. 201 | Office: Located in the Claude Moore Education Complex

A.O.S. - Culinary Arts - Johnson & Wales University, 1992
Certificate - Dietary Management, University of Florida, 1999

School of Business, Technology & Trades

Webber 305

Culinary Institute at Virginia Western

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