Pellissippi State starts Culinary Arts for fall semester

Pellissippi State Community College serves up its new concentration in Culinary Arts this fall in collaboration with the Culinary Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

The joint venture marks the first program collaboration between the two colleges and offers several advantages for Pellissippi State students in terms of instruction, location and cost, according to Tom Gaddis, coordinator of Pellissippi State’s Hospitality program.

Students learn culinary skills in a state-of-the-art laboratory/kitchen at UT’s Culinary Institute building on Neyland Drive. Formerly the Faculty Club, the structure was renovated two years ago to include an instructional lab/kitchen offering more space and equipment than a production kitchen. Video instructional technology is prevalent throughout the lab/kitchen. Local chefs with American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification teach the classes. Pellissippi State students will also take classes at the Division Street Campus, which is located two miles from UT’s Culinary Institute.

Acclaimed educator and chef John Antun, the Culinary Institute’s founding director, will oversee the UT component of the new degree. Born into a New York City restaurant family, Antun has 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has owned and operated four successful restaurants in the New York metropolitan area.

“Placement is 100 percent,” said Antun of the UT program. “I use working chefs to teach, and they’re always looking for help.”

Pellissippi State’s Gaddis is also highly regarded within the industry. He has been recognized in 2008 and 2003 as the Hospitality Educator of the Year by the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association as part of their Stars of the Industry award program. Gaddis has been in his current role at Pellissippi State since 1997.

Graduates will certify through the National Restaurant Association in nutrition, food production and sanitation. They can apply to the ACF for certification as Certified Culinarians, the first step toward professional chef certification.

Students who complete Pellissippi State’s two-year program will receive the Associate of Applied Science degree with a major in Business Administration and concentration in Culinary Arts. Thirteen new courses were developed for this program; three core courses are available for dual enrollment of high school students. Pellissippi State is currently conducting enrollment for fall 2010.

For additional information on the Culinary Arts concentration or Hospitality program, contact Gaddis at 865-971-5246 or To learn more about fall registration, call 865-694-6400 or visit

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