MCCC Offers New Associate Degree in Culinology™


This fall Mercer County Community College will begin offering a new associate degree program in Culinology™, which blends the disciplines of food science and the culinary arts. Developed in cooperation with the Research Chefs Association and Rutgers University, the program opens up career fields in the research and development of food products, tastes and flavors, food storage and manufacturing.

According to Jeffrey Cousminer of the Research Chefs Association, who worked to develop Culinology as an educational program, the effort to consolidate the two fields began about ten years ago. "As the food industry has grown more competitive, the emphasis on quality has grown too. That means having the people who know how to produce that quality."

Cousminer said that prior to this integration of food scientists and chefs, they spoke different languages. "Food scientists produced safe, nutritious and easily manufactured food, but we often didn't get the authenticity or restaurant quality. Chefs brought the culinary perspective to food development. Now the culinologist does both. Efficiency goes up, costs go down."

Students who complete the associate degree at Mercer will be prepared to transfer to Rutgers University to pursue a baccalaureate degree in Interdisciplinary Food Science. They will also have the opportunity to work toward certification with the Research Chefs Association, which has trademarked the Culinology name.

At the MCCC West Windsor campus, culinary students work in two professional kitchens which are separated by a dining area. One of the kitchens was just completed last year.



MCCC faculty member Frank Benowitz with Jeff Cousminer of the Research Chefs Association.
Mercer students work in one of the college's two professional kitchens.

In addition to Culinology, Mercer offers associate degrees in Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management and Chef (or Pastry Chef) Apprenticeship, plus certificate programs in catering, cooking and baking. For more information call 609-570-3447 or 570-3579.

The Research Chefs Association is working with several colleges nationwide that offer the Culinology program. The new field has attracted attention from national media outlets, including USA TODAY. Read their article here.

MCCC's Culinology program (page 29)

MCCC's Culinary programs home

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