Professional Cooking

This certificate prepares students for immediate employment as an entry-level professional cook in a variety of foodservice operations.

Professional cooking

Career Pathway

Program Dean

Business, Mathematics and Technologies Division

Faculty Contact


Career Studies Certificate

Credit Hours


Program Information

The restaurant and foodservice industry is one of the largest occupational sectors in the US, with a consistent need for well-trained employees. The CSC in Professional Cooking prepares students for entry level positions or advancement in their current jobs with a range of technical courses hands-on culinary skills. If they choose, students can progress from the certificate program to the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts with no loss of credit hours. 

Occupational Objectives: Combining technical training and hands-on skills, the professional cooking program will meet the needs for entry-level employment in the foodservice industry. Program graduates will have the necessary training and experience for employment in restaurants, catering operations, grocery stores, and institutional food service. Successful graduates will earn the ServSafe® Foodservice Manager certification. A Career Studies Certificate prepares students for entry-level employment upon completion.

Required Uniform and Tool Kits 

Students enrolled in HRI laboratory courses must wear the approved uniform and bring the  approved tool kit to class. Specifications will be presented at orientation sessions.  All required items are available through the campus bookstore, where financial aid may be used to assist with purchases.

Uniform items: chef jacket with logo, b & w chef pants, slip-resistant black kitchen shoes, hat, bib apron  $185.00 +/-          

Supplies: $25.00 +/-

Textbook and other supplies (vary by class):  $300.00 +/-

Approved tool kit:  $425.00 +/-


Attendance at an information session is required before enrolling in the Professional Cooking Certificate program. Sessions will be held in-person or may be scheduled virtually, via Zoom.  To participate in a Zoom meeting please contact Caitlin McCabe. In-person information sessions will be held in room J112 at the Jefferson School City Center located at 233 4th St. NW, Charlottesville, VA  22903.  The next information sessions will be held in the late spring and summer, prior to the Fall semester intake.

Information sessions last about 90 minutes each and will cover class descriptions, success tips, class materials and supplies, and a tour of the kitchens. We suggest that you complete your PVCC student and FAFSA applications in advance of the session. If you have attended another college, please bring your unofficial transcripts with you to the orientation session. There is no obligation to apply after attending an orientation.