Jim Palmeri, who has more than 33 years of experience working in the culinary arts industry and is currently the executive chef at the Mohonk Mountain House, has been named as the instructor for the Adult Career Education Center’s new Culinary Arts program.
According to Peter Harris, Ulster BOCES, Director of Learning and Design for the Career Pathways Programs and the Adult Career Education Center, Palmeri is an excellent fit because of his deep professional experience in the food industry. “Mr. Palmeri’s extensive experience will bring great value to the area's culinary community as well as benefit Ulster BOCES students,” Harris says. “We are excited to be able to offer his expertise to those wishing to pursue a career in the culinary industry.”
Before joining the Mohonk Mountain House in 2007, Palmeri was the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch as executive chef. His additional experience includes serving as executive chef for Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas, Hyatt Grand Cayman, and Hyatt Coral Gables. He is a graduate of the Culinary School of Kendall College in Chicago.
Palmeri extols the value of the new Ulster BOCES program. “There is no substitute for hands-on training,” he explains, adding that other benefits include the price of the nine-month course, which is a fraction of the cost of culinary school and provides endless opportunities in the field.
Three valuable credentials are offered through the American Culinary Federation after participants meet the rigorous course requirements—the nationally-recognized Chef de Cuisine Certification (CCC), a ServSafe Certification, as well as a program certificate of completion.
These qualifications show employers that a candidate is the best person for a job. These credentials can also help advance an already established professional’s career status. A ServSafe certification helps prospective employees stand out from other applicants because it provides a baseline set of knowledge and proves employee credibility. The CCC designation demonstrates that individuals have reached a benchmark of knowledge, skills, and culinary experience at an intermediate level in food preparation; have a good understanding of food safety and sanitation, culinary nutrition, and supervisory management; and can prepare food to high standards.
The curriculum will include an introduction to the professional kitchen; fundamentals of sanitation; protein fabrication; culinary nutrition; vegetable preparation; sauces, soups, and dressings; plate designing and finishing touches; and more.
Palmeri says that the local area will benefit from the availability of trained personnel in the industry and that students will benefit from the affordability, small class size, and rigorous training provided by Ulster BOCES through this program. “I am excited about this class,” he says. “There’s a severe shortage of culinarians right now. The industry is desperate for people to enter the workforce.”
Instruction will take place in both a classroom and a professional kitchen environment at the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center in Port Ewen. Classes will run Tuesdays and Thursdays from October 4 through June 10 from 4-8 PM, and also includes one Saturday class per month until the end of June.
The cost for the course is $2,450, plus a $600 supply fee. To register or to find out about tuition assistance, call the Ulster Adult Career Education Center at (845) 331-5050, ext. 3205.