Kylie Register

April 29, 2022

The University of Florida’s Office of Professional and Workforce Development Commemorates the First Class to Complete the Culinary Arts Certification Program

The University of Florida’s Office of Professional and Workforce Development (UF OPWD) is proud to announce the first class to complete the Culinary Arts Certification program hosted at Working Food in Gainesville, FL. To commemorate the occasion students demonstrated their culinary abilities at a showcase event where each student prepared a specialty dish for the attendees.

The meal was followed by a few words from Andrew Campbell, Director of UF OPWD and certificates being presented by instructor Chef Amadeus. The first class includes:

• Andy Cavallari
• Cat Déesse
• Ebony Johnson
• Henry Hunter
• Tom Lai Lac
• Troy Galinksi

Through a partnership with CareerSource North Central Florida (CSNCFL) four of the students were able to obtain a scholarship for the course. “This was the first of many planned pilot programs between CareerSource North Central Florida and the University of Florida geared to fast track students into the workplace,” says Phyllis Marty, CEO of CSNCFL. “This type of rapid credentialing has been increasing due to the Covid 19 Pandemic as it allows re-skilling in a nontraditional format so the student can quickly get back to work in a higher paying job.”

The Gainesville Culinary Arts Certification is a 16-week hybrid course where students acquire intensive professional and practical experience with culinary preparations and operation of a professional kitchen with an optional externship. This comprehensive course covers a full basic professional cooking school curriculum including, but not limited to kitchen and food safety, knife skills, moist- and dry-heat cooking methods, seasoning, culinary nutrition, basic breads and baking, salads and dressings, and pastry basics.

“This program is such a beautiful example of collaboration between higher education, community organizations, local government, and industry. I hope it has a good future and that it is a model for other programs to come, like the Community Health Worker program that is also launching,” says Anna Prizzia, Alachua County Commissioner.

Along with their culinary certificate the students have received a five-year ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification with all students passing the exam on the first try with scores over 95%. Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-Conference for Food Protection (CFP), this certification verifies that a manager or person-in-charge has sufficient food safety knowledge to protect the public from foodborne illness (ServSafe, Web).

The next session of the Culinary Arts Certification in Gainesville, FL begins July 12th and is open for registration at