HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Community College hosted an open house Thursday night for people interested in culinary arts and cooking, allowing them to get an idea of programs available at the college.

The Holyoke Community College Culinary Arts programs offer degrees and certificate options, non-credit job training, and personal enrichment classes in everything from food preparation to restaurant management. The HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute has four modern kitchens, a bakery, a hotel lab, and a student-run dining room.

Visitors toured the kitchens and met the chefs at HCC’s MGM Culinary Arts Institute and learn about programs and enrollment. It was also a chance for guests to taste the current student chefs’ recipes.

Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the demand for chefs and head cooks will grow six percent through 2029. 22News spoke to faculty about how the institute plans to meet the demand.

“It’s a conundrum right, we should burst at the seams as there are so many jobs available, so that’s our hope to get after covid and get enrollment back up,” said Warren Leigh, Co-Chair for Culinary Arts at Holyoke Community College.

“That demand has really put us into full gear, in terms of trying to meet that demand so…whether it someone obtaining a culinary certificate or degree,” adds Jeff Hayden, Vice President for Business and Community Services at Holyoke Community College.

HCC has received recognition for the quality of its culinary program including being named 50th among the Best Culinary Schools in America and ranked third in New England after Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I., and Southern Maine Community College in Portland. Best Choice Schools cited HCC for the quality of its one-year certificate and two-year associate of arts in science degree programs in culinary arts, as well as its 20,000-square-foot culinary arts facility, which opened in downtown Holyoke in 2018.

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