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WKCTC's Culinary Arts Program is Accredited!

The Culinary Arts program at West Kentucky Community and Technical College has been accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundations Accreditation Commission, officials announced Friday.
Thats no small feat. Only four culinary arts post secondary education programs in Kentucky have the national accreditation.

There are only a limited number of culinary arts programs accredited at the national level, said WKCTC President Barbara Veazey. Accreditation assures a student they will receive a quality education.

Chef Patrick Fletcher, 32, is in his third year as coordinator of WKCTC's Culinary Arts program. A native of Paducah, he has held positions with Sals Italian Chophouse in Lexington, KY, Ristorante di Fratelli in downtown Paducah, and Marriott Hotels. Before working with the college, Patrick was the Executive Chef at Poppys in Vidalia, GA.
Im very proud of our program and blessed to be part of a great college, Fletcher said, adding that obtaining the culinary accreditation brings both regional and national attention to our program as well as prominence and distinction.

For employers like Ginny Kirchhoff-Elmore, the accreditation is a significant plus for the college and the region.
Theres more credibility in the students coming out (from WKCTC). Theyre more likely to get a better job, said Kirchhoff-Elmore, co-owner of Kirchhoffs Bakery and Deli. Employers around here and in the bigger cities are going to look at that a little bit more. Its definitely an asset.

Kirchhoff-Elmore said students should be impressed that the college has the national accreditation. If they have any knowledge about going into the culinary field, they are going to be excited about it. Theyre going to see that as a bonus.

Accreditation by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC) assures that a program is meeting at least a minimum of standards and competencies set for faculty, curriculum and student services. The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), a professional organization for chefs and cooks, was founded in 1929 in New York City by three chefs organizations: the Socit Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club and the Chefs de Cuisine Association of America. ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation designed to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs and pastry chefs.

WKCTC Culinary Arts graduate Jon Fralicx was hired full-time as a baker at Kirchhoffs Bakery not long after completing a college co-operative education class with the Paducah bakery. A former manufacturing worker, Fralicx enrolled at WKCTC after volunteering to be laid off. Fralicx said cooking has always been a joy for him. Being laid off, finally gave me the option to do and pursue it to the extent that I wanted to. Fralicx, 26, was pleased to hear about the culinary program's new status. He said he wants to continue his education with a credential in food and beverage management and hopes one day to own his own food establishment. Fralicx said WKCTC's Culinary Arts program was informative and helped him take the first steps toward his career. Its up to the person after they leave the program to continue to pursue it and to build upon what they've learned, he said.