New building is home to culinary arts program at Lorain County Community College

ELYRIA, Ohio - As the Cleveland area continues to get national acclaim for top notch chefs and restaurants, interest in the culinary arts is heating up. A new facility just opened at Lorain County Community College where the main course is in high demand.

What started out as a class for 40 students is already so popular, Eric Petrus, the executive chef in charge of the program at LCCC predicts a day when there will be 300 students in the program.

The LCCC campus is booming with new construction, but the hottest course going at Lorain County Community College is in a brand new building. The state-of-the-art facility is two stories and has four kitchens, a bakery, and a TV studio is being built for online classes.

The culinary arts degree comes with all of the traditional college courses a student would take to earn an associates degree.

But lab work means hands-on, in the kitchen, from day one. Labs are all day, four days a week for four weeks.

Students learn the science of cooking including how to cook with conventional and combination ovens, as well as cooking with steam and convection heat.

Some students will get jobs in the college's dining services, which caters big events, allowing them to instantly build their resume for careers in Cleveland's growing restaurant scene.

Forty-one students start the first, full-time course this week. There's already a waiting list for the spring semester.

For those who don't have time to be a full-time culinary student, the college plans to add weekend warrior classes down the road for those interested in cooking creative cuisine.

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