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Spotlight on the Class of 2018

Matt Lesniowski and Alexandria Alcantara  are two of the first
Culinary Arts graduates at PCCC.

The Class of 2018 Includes PCCC’s First Culinary Arts Graduates

Posted June 12, 2018


Marking a milestone in an historic graduation ceremony that celebrated PCCC’s 50th Anniversary, the two-year-old Culinary Arts program saw its first graduates earn their associate’s degrees and certificates on May 17 in the 46th Commencement.  

“We congratulate our first Culinary Arts graduates and wish them continued success in their future educational and culinary experiences,” said Chef Louis Hernandez, the director of the Culinary Arts program at PCCC.

The Class of 2018 culinary alumni are:

Kristi Rott
Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Culinary Arts with High Honors;
Certificate in Culinary Arts.
Austin Haubert
Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS)
Erika Fabian
Certificate in Baking
Alexandria Alcantara
Certificate in Baking
Matt Lesniowski
Certificate in Culinary Arts and Certificate in Baking

According to Chef Hernandez, all of the Culinary grads already have professional experience in the field. “They enrolled in PCCC to obtain college credentials and advance their careers,” he explained.

Two of the graduates at the Commencement ceremony agreed that they came to college in order to advance professionally. 

“I’ve been in the industry four years,” said Matt Lesniowski.  “I am trying to become an executive chef and wanted to learn more about the science behind the food.”

Alexandria Alcantara, who works in a vegan café, envisions a future running her own bake shop. “I’ve been baking for a long time, but wanted to get a formal background,” she said.

Both gave high marks to PCCC’ Culinary Arts program, choosing it over several others they had researched prior to enrolling.  “The PCCC program seemed to offer so much more,” said Matt. “It was really intense, and I learned a lot.” 

Alexandria agreed. “The PCCC culinary program was the right choice for me,” she said. “The classes were very detailed and the teachers really focused on helping you.”

Matt and Alexandria both earned certificates and plan to return to school in the future to continue their studies toward a degree in Culinary Arts. For now they are focused on their busy jobs. 

For Matt, that would be the new job he landed at the French bakery where he worked to fulfill his internship requirement for the certificate.  “I really enjoyed it there and am glad I’ll be staying on,” he said.

Congratulations to all our Culinary Arts graduates and to the entire Class of 2018.