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Business, Social Science, & Public Service Academic Division Norfolk Campus: About The Culinary Arts Program
chefs and cooking

Degrees and Certificates      strawberry icon       Frequently Asked Questions      strawberry icon      Contact us

Degrees and Certificates

  • The Culinary Arts Program is offered only at the Norfolk Campus; however, non-kitchen lab classes may be taken at any campus offering such courses.
  • The Culinary Arts Department was established in 1996 and became accredited by the American Culinary Association (ACF) in 2002.  As such, graduates who maintain a student membership in the ACF professional organization will automatically, upon graduation, be awarded the first industry-level certification of Certified Culinarian.
  • Graduates of the degree program can pursue a baccalaureate degree in a variety of culinary fields along with reciprocal agreements with Norfolk State University.
  • If you are considering different culinary schools in addition to TCC, you may want to read “How to Choose a Culinary School or Hospitality Program.”
  • The Culinary Arts AAS degree is offered each semester both in a day or evening school format. 

Associate of Applied Science Degree:

Culinary Arts (242) program - a two year, 67-credit program

Certificate programs: 

Career Studies: Catering (221.242.01)
Career Studies: Classical Cooking (221.242.02) 
Career Studies: Kitchen Management (221.775.04) 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a special admissions counselor for the culinary arts program? 

We have a dedicated culinary counselor on the Norfolk Campus who will help you with the admissions procedure as well as answer any general questions about the program.  Please contact 822-1220 to be connected.

How long is the culinary program? 

The degree program can be completed in four semesters, 2 Fall semesters and 2 Spring semesters (see the attached curriculum), however the degree may be completed faster if you take courses in the 8 week summer session. 

How long are the classes? 

Most culinary courses are offered in 8 week segments, the first 8 week session or the second 8 week session.  There are, however, some courses that are 16 weeks long and some that are delivered solely in an on-line environment using Blackboard.  All kitchen classes run 8 weeks and meet twice a week for 4 hours and 40 minutes to allow for both in-class and production time.  Non-kitchen classes vary depending upon the schedule.

Are uniforms required?  What is the estimated cost of uniforms?

Yes, required are:

  • a chef coat,
  • chef pants,
  • non-skid black shoes and
  • a chef’s hat (toque). 

The chef coat can be purchased through the book store and includes an embroidered name and TCC logo.  It is suggested that each student have 2 coats in their wardrobe.  The estimated cost of a chef jacket is $35, pants are approximately $20, toque $5, and the shoes vary widely depending on style and brand, but can be purchased for between $40 and $90 for a good pair.  If not purchased through the bookstore (which will take financial aid) there are a few vendors in the area that offer discounts to TCC culinary students.

Do I need to purchase any supplies for the culinary classes? 

Other than uniforms, you are required to purchase your knives.  A starter set of knives can also be purchased through the book store using financial aid.  Alternatively, a list of required knives will be handed out during the first kitchen class (HRI 106) and can be  purchased anywhere as long as they comply.  The approximate cost of the knives is $300.  All other equipment, side towels, aprons, pots, pans etc, are provided by the department.

Is there an externship? 

After all kitchen lab classes are completed, the student is required to enroll in the Cooperative Education Internship class, which requires the student to work in a food service facility for 240 hours.  The internship is a paid position and placement assistance is offered.  Cooperative Education classes are only offered during a 16 week semester and not in the 8 week summer school session.

Is there a professional organization associated with culinary arts? 

The American Culinary Association, which is also the accrediting body for culinary schools, is the largest professional association for chefs and food service personnel.  The local chapter, The Tidewater Chefs Association, meets monthly at the various culinary schools in the area and offers educational seminars, competitions and continuing educational credits as well as social outlets for its members.

Request Information online, email Chef Don Averso,, or call (757) 822-1350 today!