Words by TC Martin and Photography by Matthew Boroski for Coakley & Williams Construction
Prince George’s Community College has offered culinary arts education for about a decade, but with the completion of a county-funded $20-million-dollar Culinary Arts Center (CAC), the college hopes to nurture local culinary talent and feed the county’s growing hospitality industry.
The CAC will provide hands-on experience. Students will use the center to learn cooking skills in an academic setting and will also get real-time experience of what it is like to work in a restaurant. The center houses three instructional kitchens that are similar in scale to actual restaurant kitchens. Students can earn associate’s degrees or they can enroll in continuing education courses that are more specific, such as grill master classes.
The hospitality industry is growing in Prince George’s County. The recently built MGM National Harbor hotel and casino sits just a stone’s throw away across the Potomac River from Alexandria. The CAC will help prepare Prince George’s County residents to take advantage of the job opportunities at MGM National Harbor, or at one of the six hotels currently under construction in the county.
The CAC plans to help the community live healthier. Many of the college’s culinary arts students obtain careers cooking at hospitals, and all students are encouraged to examine the relationship between eating and health. The county is counting on their investment to build a skilled culinary workforce for Prince George’s County and the area who are ready to help the hospitality industry continue to grow.