Pensacola State College offers a wide variety of degree opportunities. Two exciting educational paths available at PSC are the Culinary Arts Certificate Program (CCC) and an Associate in Science degree in Culinary Management. These programs provide exciting courses for aspiring students to obtain the skills necessary to pursue careers in the hospitality and culinary industries.
Chef Jimmie Langham is the Culinary and Professional Service Careers Coordinator and instructor for the Culinary Arts Department at PSC.
Chef Langham and his Culinary Management Assistant Joni Verlin both instruct hands-on cooking classes and lecture courses for PSC’s Culinary Arts College Credit Certificate Program (CHEF-CT).
The CHEF-CT program provides students with practical pastry and culinary skill training vital for a career as a professional Chef, Lead or Prep Cook, Baker, or Kitchen Manager, and many other culinary professions. The program also includes college credit courses offered within PSC’s Associate in Science degree in Culinary Management.
Stemming from the effects of COVID-19 and the Pensacola mid-bay bridge closure due to Hurricane Sally in September of 2020, Chef Langham and his assistant Verlin have noticed a decline in student enrollment within PSC’s culinary program.
Chef Langham said, “Our students have had to deal with a lot of factors this past year; many students who live in Gulf Breeze have had to deal with COVID-19 and then the bridge closure and could not come back to class.”
Verlin said, “Some students who haven’t been able to work because of COVID-19 are still trying to play catch up on their bills and find the extra money to pay for classes, but we’re hoping with the decline of COVID-19 that enrollment will increase this year.”
Verlin emphasized that PSC’s culinary department tries to schedule courses each semester to help their student body maximize their time and be more accommodating for their student’s work schedules.
In adherence with COVID-19 guidelines, Chef Langham and the PSC culinary department have had to implement some changes, such as requiring students to wear facemasks, practice social distancing during their training, and switching their Tuesday lunch dining reservations to to-go orders.
The culinary students at PSC follow the same COVID-19 safety precautions while preparing and serving lunch and dinner to guests during the school year in the Molly McGuire Culinary Dining Room located in building five on the main campus.
Students, faculty, and guests who wish to enjoy one of PSC’s culinary student-prepared meals can make a reservation and pay for their meal through PurplePass.com, where a complete list and schedule of PSC’s available culinary offerings can be found, along with the date, time, pricing, and a description of what the dining event will include.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that the culinary students at PSC have had to face this past year, Chef Langham and his assistant Verlin feel that morale within their department remains high, and the lessons they offer their students at PSC continue to provide essential culinary skills that result in a positive and valuable learning experience.