ACA Short-term Training Programs Begin in February; Students Share Benefits of Program

Tiffany Diggs of Pleasantville works with chocolate.

Tiffany Diggs of Pleasantville works with chocolate.

The Academy of Culinary Arts will offer two four-month noncredit training programs this spring at its new facility at Atlantic Cape Community College’s Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus, 1535 Bacharach Blvd. The Baking and Pastry Training Program starts Feb. 16, and the Culinary Training Program begins Feb. 23. Both programs end mid-June, just in time for summer employment.

Tiffany Diggs of Pleasantville is getting ready to complete the pilot Baking and Pastry Training Program that began this past September.

“I loved baking, and this was a great way to see if I wanted to pursue a career in the field,” Diggs said. When asked what were the benefits of the program, she said, “I am able to learn different techniques to make things my family enjoys. I made a vanilla soufflé the other day.” After completion of the program, Diggs plans to work in a bakery for a year for more experience, before opening her own.

Another student, Laversa Jackson of Vineland, hopes to open her own café with the knowledge she’s gained in the program.

Laversa Jackson of Vineland mixes chocolate.

Laversa Jackson of Vineland mixes chocolate.

“I was a 28-year employee at the Atlantic Club before being let go,” Audrene Gallo of Egg Harbor Township stated. “I began the program to learn a new career and hope to find a job in the baking field after I finish the program.”

Chef Educator Ruth Latorre of Atlantic City explained the Baking and Pastry students learned all about bread production, custards, pies and cookies, chocolate and cake decorating.

Latorre says, “The programs are a great opportunity for people interested in cooking or baking that want an introduction to the skills. It’s a stepping-stone to get into the industry and now they know the lingo and techniques they will encounter on the job. They can look for entry-level positions or open their own business.”

Donna Maiuro of Hammonton works intently during class.

Donna Maiuro of Hammonton works intently during class.

Donna Maiuro of Hammonton said, “The program shows you what’s involved in the baking and pastry world. I didn’t realize how much math was involved.” Maiuro is a nurse, but found baking a pleasant change. “I know it’s a competitive field, but I’d like to get a job in the industry, even if its part time.”

The 425-hour career preparation programs offer participants hands-on courses to either learn new skills to start a career in the hospitality industry or enhance existing skills for career advancement. Participants who complete either program will be ServSafe certified.

The Culinary Training Program will provide students with knowledge of various foodborne illnesses and their prevention; basic culinary terminology and skills; pantry production; use and benefits of kitchen gardens; hot food production and short order cooking; preparation of stocks and sauces; cooking methods of meat, poultry and seafood; the fundamentals of baking, as well as professional development and resume writing.

The Baking and Pastry Training Program will teach participants basic culinary terminology and skills as they apply to the bakeshop; organization and scaling as it pertains to production of bread; leavening agents; proper mixing methods for crusts and cookies; four types of buttercream; cake decorating; plated desserts as well as some chocolate and sugar work.

The new facility, the Caesars Entertainment Wing for Hospitality and Gaming Studies, features two state-of-the-art kitchens, each with eight workstations. Classes meet 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Cost for each program is $5,895. For information, contact Judy DeSalvo at (609) 343-5624 or desalvo@atlantic.edu.

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