Your future in Culinary Arts

Article by Chef Martin Lopez

A recent survey of 700 professional chefs asked them which cuisine, beverages and culinary themes will be trending on restaurant menus in the year ahead. I had an opportunity to discuss these trends with Chef Casey Shiller and Professor Jeff Ivory of St. Louis Community College, and J.T. Gelineau from Mushrooms Naturally, during a session at the recent informative and fun Missouri Meeting & Events Expo. Topics we covered included:

What’s hot in 2018
Top 20 food trends
Top 10 concept trends
Which trends are heating up and cooling down
Bringing new meaning to local by accessing farmers directly
Getting local on a large-scale Neighborhoods and cultures
Get-out-and-see field trips

By the end, we all agreed that one of the most important areas we covered was preparing hospitality graduates for the future. I have joined the faculty of the new STLCC Hospitality Program and as my career takes me to the educational side of the industry, I recognize the importance of professional education, career support, and showcasing students.

STLCC Hospitality Management curriculum will introduce students to:

Event planning
Food and beverage Hotel management
Travel and tourism

Our program welcomes students entering the field for the first time, those considering a second career and those currently in the field and looking to move up. We prepare graduates for management-level jobs in the hospitality industry or to continue their education at a four-year institution.

Our faculty members bring real-world experience, advanced degrees and many professional credentials to the classroom including:

Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC)
Certified Executive Chef (CEC)
Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC)
Certified Food & Beverage Executive (CFBE)
Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE)
Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA)
Certified Lodging Manager (CLM)
Food Management Professional (FMP)

The hospitality program offers both academics and practical knowledge. A combination of 200 hours is required in internships, service work, and program-specific events held at STLCC, and new culinary lab classes in a commercial kitchen provide real-world experience.

Students can earn an AAS degree in Hospitality Management in as few as four semesters. Many classes are offered online and in the evening, allowing students to work and study at the same time.

Job prospects in the hospitality industry are good. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts job growth for 2016 to 2026:

− Chefs and head cooks, 10 percent
− Food Service Management, 9 percent
− Event planning, 11 percent
− Lodging Management, 4 percent

The array of sectors looking for hospitality graduates is broad, including some you might not think of, such as: Airlines Car Rental Firms Cruise Lines Human Resources Stadiums and Sports Venues Theme Parks STLCC is recognized for the quality of education it provides at a more affordable cost than many proprietary schools and four-year institutions.

For more information about the STLCC program, go to www.stlcc. edu and search for hospitality or contact: Program Coordinator Jeffrey P. Ivory M.Ed., CHE at 314-644-9764 or [email protected]. To learn more about Chef Martin Lopez, visit

About the author

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