Columbia Hosts Ribbon Cutting Event to Celebrate New Culinary Programs


What’s cooking at Lincoln Tech’s Columbia campus? Lincoln Culinary Institute recently celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony, launching its Culinary Arts and Food Services and International Baking and Pastry programs. During the event Campus President Cory Hughes explained that, “Students are here on campus for about a year. After they complete their hands-on training, they do an internship in the field working for local restaurants, college cafeterias, assisted living facilities or other venues.”

For these lucky students, cooking and baking isn’t just something they do – it’s an exploration into ingredients and flavors from around the globe to create works of art, with plates as their canvases.

Master Chef Provides Students with the Recipe for Success

Chef Tammy Benyak, Supervisor for Culinary Education, brings a wealth of passion and experience to Lincoln Tech – from her first job in a professional kitchen, to Associate and Bachelor Degrees in Culinary Management, followed by stints working in restaurant chains, corporate dining establishments and catering facilities. “I love seeing my students have a smile on their face when they display their finished projects,” offers Benyak. “Showing everyone what they did, discussing the successes and failures of the dish, just taking ownership of all that.”

What’s on the Menu for Lincoln Culinary Institute Graduates?  Jobs!

With so many hot-spot restaurants in nearby Washington DC and Baltimore, Lincoln’s newest programs will help answer the region’s call for trained culinary professionals. More than 1,500 chefs, head cooks and bakers are projected to be hired across Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia over the next 10 years*. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of chefs and head cooks in Maryland is projected to grow 9% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, and the median annual wage in 2017 was over $37,330.

Several Familiar Faces Spotted in the Standing Room Only Crowd

The ribbon cutting certainly whet the appetites of not only local business owners, but representatives from the offices of local and state government officials.

Attendees included Leonardo McClarty, President & CEO of Howard County Chamber of Commerce; Ronny Nadiv, Director of Membership at the Chamber; State Senator Gail H. Bates; Opel Jones, County Councilmember, District 2; Christiana Rigby, County Councilmember, District 3; and other Howard County Government officials, area religious leaders, and members of the local business community.

If you are an aspiring chef or baker, take it to the next level by becoming a professional culinary artist!  Call or visit the Columbia campus and start cooking up some delicious new career possibilities!

* Source:, for the years 2016-2026. Median salary information is based on 2017 data.


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