Top chef trained at community college

Richard Rosendale, chef at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, hopes to be the first American to win the Bocuse d’Or cooking competition in France, reports the Washington Post. Rosendale and chefs from around the world will compete Jan. 30 “in the world’s most challenging and prestigious culinary competition,” which is held every two years in Lyon, France. French and Norwegian chefs have dominated the competition.

In an age when many aspiring young chefs head to the Culinary Institute of America, Rosendale enrolled in the culinary program at Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood, Pa. He earned his associate degree and entered the Greenbrier’s apprenticeship program, the one he now oversees. This led to apprenticeships with several certified master chefs, training in Europe and sous-vide training at the French Laundry.

Rosendale’s rise shows that “college” can mean real-world vocational training, writes Ben Wildavsky on The Quick and the Ed.

The current requirements for the degree Rosendale earned include not only baking, beverage management, and so forth, but also college writing, microcomputer concepts, social science or math, and more. Students also work many hours as apprentices in restaurants, hotels, or resorts. This culinary arts program . . .  combines practical classroom instruction, an out-of-the-classroom apprenticeship, and classes that focus on some core skills that could prove useful to students in many settings.

It’s not that “too many” Americans go to college, writes Wildavsky. “College” broadly defined — job training as well as Plato —  can benefit many more people.