Bucks graduates six chef apprentices

The unique final had students plan, prepare and present a full-course meal to earn their associate degrees and journeyperson’s papers

The graduates are (front row, L-R) Karen Johnson of Sellersville, Chantele Carter of Bensalem, Jaclyn Stein of Newtown, (back row, L-R) Jorge Gonzales of Bensalem, Sean Myrtetus of Doylestown, and Zach Sumba of Warminster. Source: Jean Dolan

Bucks County Community College held a tasty final exam on May 14 in historic Tyler Hall on the Newtown campus, as the ultimate test for students who were graduating from the Chef Apprenticeship program.

Six third-year apprentices prepared a full-course dinner around a theme for 62 invited guests, including college president Stephanie Shanblatt, members of the board of trustees, E. Lisa Vicente of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship Training, and students’ family members, in a final demonstration of their training. They were assisted by second-year apprentices who helped serve the meal and clean up afterward.

Graduates included Chantele Carter and Jorge Gonzales of Bensalem, Jaclyn Stein of Newtown, Zach Sumba of Warminster, Karen Johnson of Sellersville and Sean Myrtetus of Doylestown.

This year’s theme was “Casino Cuisine of the 1950s and ‘60s.” After successful completion of this graded final assignment and all other academic requirements, the apprentices were awarded the Associate of Arts degree from the college at commencement on May 23. Those completing 6,000 documented hours of on-the-job training earned their Journeyperson Certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor.

This was the 32nd year that the program hosted a dinner to demonstrate the culmination of three years of education and preparation by the apprentices to become journeyperson cooks and pastry cooks. It also marked the end of an era for the program, as professor and chef Earl Arrowood placed his toque on a stainless steel kitchen shelf and retired after more than 35 years of launching many culinary careers.

To learn more about the Chef Apprenticeship program at Bucks, contact associate professor and chef John Angeline at 215-504-8541 or John.Angeline@bucks.edu.