Culinary classes began as part of the
Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Management program in 1970. Courses focused on preparing students for a variety of jobs in the hospitality industry. Students trained in mass food preparation and completed five co-operative education terms at some of Cincinnati’s leading hotels and restaurants.
In 1977, a separate Hotel-Motel-Chefs Technology program was started to serve the fast growing food service industry. The program provided specialized educational facilities and co-operative work experiences catered specifically toward careers in the food service industry.
American Culinary Federation
The Chef’s Apprenticeship Program begins in 1978, endorsed by Les Chefs de Cuisine (Greater Cincinnati) of the American Culinary Federation (AFC), required 6000 hours of practical training under the supervision of a member of Les Chefs de Cuisine and 432 hours of classroom theoretical instruction.
In 1987, Cincinnati State received a “Blue Ribbon” for excellence from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), which allowed graduates to become a certified cook.
Today, our Pastry and Culinary Arts degrees are still Certified Exemplary by the AFC. Exemplary Programs symbolize the highest educational standards recognized by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC). Students can now become a Certified Culinarian (CC), a Certified Pastry Culinarian (CPC), or Certified Sous Chef (CSC) with five years of work experience.
The 1980s saw tremendous growth in the Chef Technology Program. In 1984, the program received accreditation by the City and Guilds of London, an internationally recognized culinary organization. This allowed graduates of the program to continue their education in Europe. The college was one of the first in the United States with this accreditation.
In 1987, the college invested $500,000 in new facilities for the culinary program. The facilities included 3 new kitchens and a dining room. The Continental (dining) Room served college employees as well as the general public. These facilities were the precursor to the Summit Restaurant.
In 2002, the college expanded, breaking ground on the Advanced Technology Learning Center (ATLC) to house the Midwest Culinary Institute (MCI) and other student programs. The new building included classrooms, 12 teaching kitchens, a bakery and café (Bakery Hill) and a restaurant (The Summit) to benefit the culinary program. The Summit, a 120-seat restaurant, and Bakery Hill are open to the public. The building opened in fall of 2004.
Spotlight: Chef John Kinsella
Certified Master Chef (CMC), World Global Master Chef (WGMC), American Academy of Chefs Certified Culinary Educator (CCE), AAC (American Academy of Chefs honors society)
In 1983, Kinsella was hired as the coordinator of the Chef Technology Program. He was a driving force in the advancement of culinary studies and development of Midwest Culinary Institute (MCI) at the college. He was a mentor and inspiration to students until his retirement from Cincinnati State in 2011.
Born in Ireland, John Kinsella served in Her Majesty’s Armed forces before becoming and executive chef in Dublin and cooking for the royal houses of England. In 1985, Kinsella was designated a certified master chef (CMC) by the American Culinary Federation. At the time, there were only 16 master chefs in the United States (Today there are 67). The same year he became a Certified ACF Culinary Judge.
Throughout his career, Kinsella has been very active in the profession, serving as National President American Culinary Federation (2005-2009), managing/advising world cup winning student teams and gold metal student teams in the culinary competitions worldwide from Luxembourg to London (1998-2008), and being a culinary advisor to Major Roxanne Qualls in the 1990s. He has been voted Cincinnati’s Chef of the Year twice (1988/2000) and culinary educator par excellence by Cincinnati Magazine, and voted Regional Chef of the Year by American Culinary Federation.
Kinsella was awarded the high distinction of World Global Master Chef (WGMC) in 2008, one of only 34 chefs in the United States and 652 worldwide to hold such credentials. In 2013, Kinsella was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame.
MCI provides many opportunities for the community to partake in culinary exploration, enjoy student’s culinary skills and engage in community enrichment:
1 Night, 12 Kitchens, first held in 2005, is an annual culinary event and a scholarship fund-raiser, where guests tour MCI’s facilities, chat with chefs, and enjoy a variety of food and beverage choices.
Creations Community Cooking classes, offered regularly and provide an opportunity to learn various aspects of the culinary arts to the community at large.
“The Dish”, a weekly daytime cooking series on Local 12 (2005 to 2008), hosted by MCI and featuring Cincinnati State’s chef Jean-Robert de Cavel and MCI’s World Master Chef Meg Galvin. The Dish was filmed in MCI’s demo kitchen.
Innovative New Programs