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Quail Valley Hosts IRSC Culinary Career Day

Quail Valley Hosts IRSC Culinary Career Day

September 30, 2019 Robert Lane

Indian River State College (IRSC) hospitality and culinary students participated in a unique event to network with, and learn from, area executive chefs, chief operating officers, and owners and operators of some of the area’s select clubs, restaurants, and suppliers during the IRSC Culinary Career Day hosted by Quail Valley River Club Tuesday, September 17.

IRSC Culinary Career Day

“The College’s relationships with community partners like Quail Valley allow our Culinary Apprenticeship program to provide IRSC students with valuable insight into real-world experience and careers,” shares Donna Rivett, IRSC Dean of Industrial Education. “Culinary Career Day let our students see firsthand the promising future a career in the culinary and hospitality industry offers them.”

Planned and organized by Bill Solomon, IRSC Culinary Department Chair and Joe Faria, Executive Chef, Quail Valley Golf and River Club, Culinary Career Day welcomed IRSC students to the River Club to hear professionals from companies in the hospitality industry give insights into their career paths and work experiences as they shared their passion for their careers. Presenters also brought culinary specialties to share during a following meet-and-greet session with the speakers—allowing students the opportunity to talk one-on-one and network with the presenters while sampling the expertly presented and prepared dishes.

In addition to Solomon and Faria, IRSC Culinary students heard from: Kevin Given, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Quail Valley Golf and River Club; Hugh O’Donnell, General Manager, Bent Pine Golf Club; Steve Long, Executive Chef, Sea Oaks Beach and Tennis Club; Scott Varricchio, Executive Chef and Owner, Citrus Grillehouse; J.D. Cook, New England Wholesale; Claudia Marchello and Cristin Levelston, representatives from Cheney Brothers, Inc.; and Tamesha Hamilton, IRSC Culinary Apprenticeship student transitioning to career—and now operating her own catering business.

“Gaining experience with the IRSC Culinary program has given me the skills and knowledge needed to start my own catering business,” shares Tamesha. “I learned that if my dream was bigger than my fear—I would be able to conquer that fear and succeed.”

To participate in the Culinary Operations Apprenticeship program, applicants must be employed by a qualified food-service establishment willing to sponsor the student. The sponsoring establishment, or the apprentice, pays the $400 IRSC program fee. Applicants must also be a member of the American Culinary Federation and registered as an apprentice.

Classes meet twice a week, Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the IRSC Mueller Campus in Vero Beach. Summer is entirely on-the-job training with the student's employer. Those who successfully complete the one-year program will receive a certificate of completion from the State of Florida and IRSC, and all apprentices are trained to be certified as ServSafe® Managers.

For more information on how to get started with the Culinary Operations Apprenticeship program at IRSC, contact Bill Solomon at 772-226-2528 or Deborah Midkiff at 772-226-2698 or email

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