SUNY Cobleskill’s Culinary Arts Program is designed to provide rigorous and concentrated hands-on training to students who plan to pursue careers in the rapidly expanding food service industry. The primary goal of the program is to prepare students for meaningful positions in the food and restaurant business.
The Associate in Occupational Studies degree fulfills the education and experience requirement for membership in the ACF at the certified culinarian (CC) level. Students interested in earning the CC credential will be advised to join the ACF in January of the second year of the program. With this action and successful completion of the degree, students earn the certified culinarian credential. The Bachelor of Business Administration offers students additional knowledge of management and culinary arts with the expertise of faculty in the Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism department and the Business and Computer Technology department.
>> Only SUNY Campus with a working farm where culinary students can work in a USDA meat processing lab with farm fresh beef, chicken, and pork, as well as fish from aquaponics labs and veggies from hydroponics labs.
>> AOS degree program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation accredited
>> Hands-on learning in Rolling Hills Bistro and through catering events on campus
>> Faculty are experts in their specific area of the hospitality industry, from chef to director and bring with them American Culinary Federation certification.
>> Specialty courses include pastry courses, meat processing, garde manger, ice carving, farm to table management.
>> Small lab class sizes with one-on-one labs with faculty.
>> Learning facilities include campus bistro, commercial bakery, state-of-the-art kitchen lab classrooms and dining rooms and a USDA meat lab.
>> A variety of annual field trips from touring Wegmans' bakery facility and Beechnut, to traveling internationally in Europe, including France, Spain and Italy.
SUNY Cobleskill’s Culinary Arts program offers two distinct degree options to suit your needs and career choices.
Associate's in Occupational Studies (AOS)
> 60 Credit Hours (2 Years)
> Most popular program degree option
> Easy transition into BBA degree program at SUNY Cobleskill
> Fulfills the education and experience requirements for membership in the ACF at the certified culinarian (CC) level
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
> 120 Credit Hours (4 Years) or 60 Credit Hours (2 Years) for Associate degree holders
> Includes 12-credit professional internship
> Ideal for students that have earned an Associate degree in restaurant management, food service management, institutional foods, or culinary arts and are interested in pursuing additional study of management to enhance their career opportunities
> Enrollment is also open to first time students who meet admission requirements for bachelor degree programs
What Will I Learn?
> Sel/Cut Meat for Restaurant Use
> Food Service Sanitation
> Service for Restaurant Professionals
> Menu Planning and Merchandising
> Principles of Mgmt for Service Business
> Mathematics Hospitality Operations
> Culinary I & II
> Baking and Pastry I & II
> Beverage Management
> Garde Manger
> American Cuisine
> International Cuisine
Each student completes a required 600 hour, 12 credit internship that is custom designed based on their career plans, which provides a capstone learning experience for their bachelor degree.
> Americana Vineyards
> Hilton Garden Inn
> Best Western
> Clarion Hotels
> The Otesaga
> Mallozzi Group
> New World Home Cooking
> Bearpond Winery
> Charter One Hotels
> Turning Stone Resort & Casino
> The Sagamore
Where Culinary Arts Alumni are working now:
> New World Home Cooking
> The Cake Boss
> Price Chopper
> Eleven Madison Park (NYC)
> The Beverwyck
> US Government - Department of Defense
> The Sagamore
> Tops Markets
> Krause's Homemade Candy
> Hyatt Hotels
> Turning Stone Resort & Casino
Meet the Faculty
Jo Anne Cloughly is an American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Chef de Cuisine. She currently serves as SkillsUSA Chairperson for the Regional and State level Commercial Baking competitions and received the Outstanding Service Award from SkillsUSA in 2009. Chef Cloughly was selected as the 2011 Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Educator of the Year and was inducted into the prestigious Les Dames d'Escoffier in 2013. She has an AOS in Culinary Arts, a BPS in Food Service Management, and a Master of Food Studies from Empire State College. Chef Cloughly teaches the Baking and Pastry classes, acts as Advisor to the Student Pastry Arts Club and serves as Department Chair for Agriculture Business and Food Management.
Rich Benninger has enjoyed a 28-year career in hospitality management. Chef Benninger is a former Executive Director of Catering and Convention Services at two of Las Vegas’ premier hotel casino resorts, MGM Grand and Caesar’s Palace. In addition to teaching, he owns and operates a full service catering venue and tavern. Chef Benninger earned his AAS Professional Chef degree from SUNY Cobleskill and holds a BS in Hotel Administration from University of Nevada Las Vegas, an MBA from University of Phoenix-Nellis Air Force Campus, and is currently working on a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership at University of Phoenix. Chef Rich Benninger teaches Purchasing, Catering, Advanced Catering, and American Cuisine.
Keith Buerker is a Certified Executive Chef, a Certified Culinary Educator, and a Certified Food and Beverage Executive. Chef Buerker is a member of the ACF Capital District-Central New York. He has a bachelor of science from Southern New Hampshire University and a master of science from SUNY Albany. Chef Buerker was named Chef of the Year of the Tri-Lakes Chefs Association and has won six ACF gold medals, six ACF silver medals and five bronze medals in National and International competitions. He has also won numerous awards and honors including: Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, The American Cancer Society and the New York State Beef Council. Chef Buerker was also named the Northeast Chef Educator of the Year for 2014 by the American Culinary Federation.
David Campbell , an American Culinary Federation member, has earned several distinctions with the ACF including Certified Culinary Educator, Certified Chef de Cuisine and Approved Certification Evaluator. He was selected as the 2013 ACF Northeast Region Chef Educator of the Year. He is an active member of the Capital District Chefs Association, and the Bailliage d’ Albany of the Chain des Rotisseurs. He has an AOS in Culinary Arts and a BS in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University, a Master of Hospitality Management from the University of Houston and a Master of Science from SUNY Albany. He has taught many classes, but his particular areas of interest include: American Regional cuisine, BBQ, Garde Manger, Molecular Gastronomy, beer and wine.
Michael Lapi is the former chef/owner of Church and Main Restaurant in Canajoharie and a chef instructor at SUNY Cobleskill where he teaches International Cuisine, Meat Products and Farm to Table Management. Recently he has been working at the Olde Tater Barn in Central Bridge NY, where he incorporates fresh-local ingredients from Schoharie Valley into his preparation of seasonal catering menus. Whether he is preparing Northwind Farms’ rabbit gumbo or fresh duck egg pasta with braised Gordon Farms’ oxtails, his food is always delicious. Michael has long been a champion of cooking with local ingredients and sources many of his ingredients from the farms throughout Schoharie and Albany counties and, many times, from his mother’s garden. He is also an expert mushroom forager.
Anne Rogan earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in food science from Cornell University. She completed her PhD studies applying statistical process control tools to HACCP plans for food safety at Union College’s Graduate Management Program. Anne is a Registered Dietitian, a Certified Nutritionist in NYS, and a member of the Institute of Food Technology. She has consulted for the HeadStart Program, USDA-School Meals Program, School Lunch, and the Office for the Aging. She is a member of the Board of Hunger Solutions New York, the Hudson Valley Dietetic Association and the Albany County BOCES. She has published in the Journal of Nutrition Education, Journal of the American Dietetic Association and the Food Safety Magazine on research topics in food safety and nutrition.
Cherryl Vaccarella began her culinary career in a family-owned restaurant. She earned her AAS in Restaurant Management from SUNY Cobleskill, a BS in Food Systems Management from Buffalo State and an MS Educational Theory and Practice at SUNY Albany. She is a certified/accredited member of the Federation of Dining Room Professionals, an Accredited Hospitality Educator, Certified Dining Room Professional, Certified Wine Steward and Dining Room Associate. Cherryl won the “Trainer of the Year” award in 2011 as a certified TiPS trainer. She currently serves as the advisor to the SUNY Cobleskill CHAT Club, a culinary-oriented student group which provides food and service to both the campus and surrounding communities.
Dave Yanisko is a graduate of the University of Rochester (BS Geology) and Johnson and Wales University in Denver, CO (AAS Culinary Arts). He is currently pursuing a MsEd in Career and Technical Education from SUNY Oswego to be completed Spring 2016. Dave has 12 years of experience as a chef in a la carte and private event dining in Philadelphia and resort areas of Southern New Jersey. He is heavily influenced by and classically trained in French brigade/contemporary restaurants. Dave teaches introductory/fundamentals culinary classes, Regional American Cuisine, Catering Operations, and Restaurant Operations. He has also served as the culinary advisor/coach of student competitions such as Chaine de Rotiseurs “Le Jeune Chef Competition,” San Pellegrino “Almost Famous Chef Competition” and the NY Beef Council Competition.
> Rolling Hills Bistro - A full service ala carte restaurant seating 40 people. Used as a real life learning experience for students who cook, serve and manage the operation during several of their culinary arts courses.
> Meat Lab - The only SUNY operated USDA meat processing facility. Culinary students have an opportunity to learn how to select, butcher and prepare proteins in a fully operational butchering facility. The students process items such as beef, chicken, pork, lamb and fish, most of which are raised on campus.
> Champlin Culinary Labs - Students work with faculty in three state-of-the-art lab kitchens to develop culinary and baking skills in small groups with an American Culinary Federation certified instructor.