Ocean County Vocational Technical School will expand its adult culinary training program and operate a restaurant called Cuisine on the Green at the Atlantis Golf Club in Little Egg Harbor Township starting in September.

The school will take over an existing restaurant site at the golf club, which is operated by the Ocean County Parks and Recreation Department, school spokeswoman Jean Sullivan said.

The new site will give students the opportunity for hands-on internships and jobs. Students can also earn credits that transfer to other culinary programs, including the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing.

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Sullivan said about 15 students are in the program, now located in Lakehurst. That site will continue for now. The new site will allow them to expand the program to as many as 40 students.

Tuition for the 10-month program will be $4,000 plus uniforms and books. Applicants must be at least 18 or older and have a high school diploma or a GED.

Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Ian Smith said the new location will allow the program to add beverage and bar service training. He said the plan is to offer lunch and dinner, as well as catering services.

Smith said he looks forward to integrating local produce and seafood into the menu and teaching students how to have a menu that caters to different food needs and allergies without having to request special orders.

“We want students to see how you can do this in an actual working environment so that it becomes the natural way to operate when they go out to work,” he said.

Students will do internships in the restaurant as part of their training, but will also be hired to help out with catering and special events, Smith said.

“We’ll have a mix of paid employees to supplement the students, plus we have instructors,” he said.

Chef Kelly McClay, dean of the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College, said they have had a long-standing articulation agreement with the vo-tech school and will be reviewing it to see how students can best transfer new credits to the ACA.

“They do a wonderful job there, and this is an opportunity to see if we can give additional credits for the work students do,” McClay said. She said currently students can transfer as many as 12 credits from the Vo-Tech to the ACA.

Students interested in the Vo-Tech program can call 732-473-3100 ext. 3144, or go online at ocvts.org

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