Skip navigation

Thomas Moss Scholar bakes his way into a culinary career

Zachary Noble, 20, loves to bake cheesecake. His specialty is orange and lemon flavored cakes with strawberry glaze. “I like to bake them in cupcake cups, making them cheesecake minis. They are a little harder to make, but the presentation is fantastic,” he said.

Noble, a Landstown High School graduate, is the 2015 Thomas Moss Scholar for Norfolk Campus, a distinction he earned at the end of spring semester while working toward his Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts.

“From the very start of his culinary education, Zachary exhibited a dedication and interest that stood out among other students,” said Don Averso, program head for Tidewater Community College’s culinary program. “He has carried that interest and passion throughout his education and shows great promise as an outstanding chef.”

TCC Culinary Arts student Zachary Noble getting hands-on kitchen experience

The Thomas Moss scholarship honors the namesake of the Norfolk Campus, which is known formally as the Thomas W. Moss Jr. Campus.

Moss was speaker of the House of Delegates in the mid-1990s, when TCC received start-up funds from the General Assembly to put its Norfolk Campus downtown. He served for many years as Norfolk treasurer.

The Thomas Moss Scholars Fund was established in 2000 by the Norfolk Faculty Senate to recognize a full-time student whose academic achievements and leadership have reached the highest levels.

Grateful for the support provided by the Norfolk Campus faculty, Noble added, “I’m extremely honored to be selected for this scholarship. It was something I’d heard about, but I never expected it would be me. And it such good timing, because the funds will pay for my last two classes.”

After considering for-profit colleges, Noble chose TCC to start his culinary career. “It was the absolute right choice,” he says.

Crediting his professors with helping him succeed, Noble said, “We are a close-knit group, and our professors are a big part of that. I’m grateful for their industry experience because when they share about their work, we learn about real-world kitchens and what’s involved behind the scenes.”

For-profit schools were on Noble’s radar to start, but he is grateful for his time at TCC. “After talking with my parents, and crunching the numbers, it just made sense to come here,” he said. “And it was absolutely the right choice. I’ve gotten a phenomenal education at TCC.”

Noble’s passion for cooking started early when he and his father, Chris, earned the nicknames Cookie and Cookie Jr., while preparing meals during more than 80 Boy Scout campouts. “Cooking has always been part of me. It’s exciting to prepare for a career that reflects my passion,” he said.

Noble ultimately wants to own his food truck offering baked goods. He also hopes to create wedding cakes and desserts for special events through his own catering business.

“In the culinary business, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. The good thing about this degree is that I know I can go pretty far with it,” Noble said. “Food touches everything. I can’t wait to get started.”

To learn how you can support a TCC scholar, contact the TCC Educational Foundation at 757-822-1080 or