Lorain County Community College (LCCC)’s Culinary Arts Institute hosted three world-class chefs during their American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification testing Friday (April 30) morning. The institute was approved as an ACF testing facility for professional chefs in February, solidifying its role as the epicenter for culinary arts and hospitality in Northeastern Ohio. Several of LCCC culinary students will be observing and running plates for the candidates.
The Culinary Arts Institute at LCCC is led by a team of chefs with global training, experience and expertise that spans the culinary industry. One of LCCC’s head chefs, Brad Ball, obtained the high-level national credential of certified executive chef status himself in January.
“Chef Brad has become a driving factor in the ACF and the reason we are now recognized as one of the few institutions in Ohio that offer this extraordinary partnership,” Chef Adam Schmith, director of LCCC’s Culinary Arts Institute said.
Obtaining the certified executive chef certification is an important step for growth,” Ball said. “The two-year journey gave me the chance to refine the skills I already possessed. The program also provides a pathway for young cooks to grow by setting skillset benchmarks. Part of the motto of master chefs and true culinarians is that you are forever the student.”
The chefs participating in the four-hour certification testing were Kevin Gumbarevic, Certified Sous Chef ®(CSC), Stephen Hahn, Certified Executive Chef® (CEC), and Mark Wagner, Certified Executive Chef ®(CEC). Each was seeking the next level of ACF certification and were required to bring all of the ingredients necessary to prepare a meal of their choice with them to the certification.
LCCC becoming a testing center gives LCCC national recognition by attracting more high-level chefs to the space, Ball said. “As this program grows, it will help us grow beyond Lorain County.”
With a rich background of executive chef roles and experience working alongside chef extraordinaire Michael Symon, Ball is proud to have started his own journey at a community college, he said. His goal is to continue helping local students make their culinary career dreams become a reality.
“At LCCC, we are committed to education, and being an ACF testing center gives the students a window into the industry by watching chefs test to achieve a nationally recognized credential, as well as the chance to listen to critiques of chef evaluators,” he said.
LCCC’s Culinary Arts Institute, ultimately a collaboration between world-class chefs, a talented student pool, and farm-to-table initiatives, is located in the Ben & Jane Norton Culinary Arts Center, between the college’s Spitzer Conference Center and Stocker Arts Center. Students in the Culinary Arts program have the opportunity to hone their skills in the student-run restaurant, Sage & Seed, each spring semester.
For more information about LCCC’s Culinary Institute, visit www.lorainccc.edu/culinary.
Lorain County Community College is located at 1005 N. Abbe Road, Elyria.