While passion is essential to culinary arts, having a strong skillset to go along with that passion is key to succeed in the culinary. As many South Tahoe restaurants can attest, it’s difficult to find skilled people to fill positions in a smaller community like ours. And when we do often times, they come packed with enthusiasm but without the training needed to flourish. Luckily, Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) was willing to listen and has created a program with its state-funded ADVANCE consortium to grow the Culinary Arts and hospitality industry in our community.

California helped create consortia like ADVANCE  with communities like South Lake Tahoe in mind. Its goals include improving current employment, completion of a high school credential, entering college or career training, and even connecting job seekers with high-demand, local industry needs.

Culinary Academy Boot Camp & Certified Apprenticeships – Essential For South Lake Tahoe To Flourish

Working alongside our town’s restaurants (including ourselves), the college has created an 8-day/40-hour culinary boot camp that helps individuals take the right step forward into the world of Culinary Arts. Covering things like knife skills, butchery, baking, kitchen organization and sanitation, it lays a foundation to connect participants with apprenticeships, work experience opportunities and local jobs.

ADVANCE has also launched the Tahoe Culinary Academy, a registered apprenticeship program aligned to American Culinary Federation (ACF) standards. The College isn’t stopping with certifications and apprenticeship either.  The newly opened Lisa Maloff University Center now houses on-campus Bachelor Degree programs from several four-year universities. Among the degree programs housed there is a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Washington State University.

The Goal Is Simple – Raise The Culinary Scene

While the South Lake Tahoe culinary scene has exploded in recent years, the talent pool has not kept pace. To help combat this, the college is doing their part to help folks in our town that are passionate about food and give them access to attain these skills. In the end, this will provide hands-on skills training and a direct pipeline of skilled culinary workers to local restaurants, raising the level of our culinary applicant pool and making all our restaurants that much more special. Bon Appétit!


For those looking to the future and want additional information or to apply for the Culinary Boot Camp, contact Frank Gerdeman, Director, (530) 541-4660 x 238 or fgerdeman@ltcc.edu