Culinary Institute of Savannah now offers Baking and Pastry Program

#1307 | August 9, 2012

Savannah Tech is the first in Georgia to offer credentials for pastry arts

SAVANNAH – Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah has created a new culinary baking and pastry program. Last week, the Culinary Baking and Pastry Arts associate degree and diploma received final approval from the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). Based on curriculum from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the new program will offer students a second culinary associate degree or diploma option at Savannah Technical College.

     “We have developed this unique baking and pastry program especially for our culinary students. There is nothing like it from Atlanta to Charleston,” said STC Culinary Arts Department Head and Instructor Chef Jean Vendeville. “This program offers a tremendous opportunity to train our students to achieve high standards and quality baking and pastry skills, which will benefit area hotels and restaurants.”

      Student enrolled in the program will learn the art of creating tasty baked goods, pastries, and confections, from traditional bread baking to beautiful showpieces. Students will learn a variety of international and classical pastries and desserts using basic and advanced techniques, which meet industry quality standards.

     The Culinary Baking and Pastry program includes foundation culinary courses like Fundamentals of Culinary Arts, Culinary Safety/Sanitation, Principles of Cooking, Baking Principles and Principles of Culinary Leadership. Courses specific to the new program include Baking Science, European Cakes and Tortes, Artisan/Specialty Bread, Hot/Cold-Plated Desserts, Cake Design/Decorating, Confection Artistry, Chocolate Artistry and Dessert/Bread Retail Production with Nutrition in Baking.

     According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pastry chefs are in-demand and make excellent salaries. reports that the average salary for pastry bakers is more than $40,000 per year. In 2008, specialty chefs represented more than 8,900 jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts job opportunities will increase by nearly 15% in the coming decade, adding 138,000 jobs by 2016. In addition, the BLS indicates highly skilled bakers should be especially in demand because of growing demand for specialty products. In Georgia, bakers earned a median annual salary of $23,190 in 2011, according to the BLS. Based on Department of Labor statistics the mean average salary in the Savannah area is $22,830.

      The Culinary Institute of Savannah ACF-accredited culinary arts program has been described as the “best in the U.S.A” by its ACF accreditation review board. Under Vendeville’s leadership, the enrollment for STC’s culinary arts program has increased 130 percent since 2008. Now, there are more than 200 enrolled with new classes offered. This spring he opened another teaching kitchen in Effingham, Ga. Vendeville has assembled a top-notch team of faculty, who have each earned national American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification under his leadership. He has embedded many aspects of sustainability into the program including an on-campus organic vegetable garden, an herb garden, and a composting site.

      At the 2012 ACF Southeastern Regional Conference, Vendeville received the top ACF award – the President’s Medallion. This award is the ultimate honor for a lifetime of commitment and service to the standards and excellence ACF exemplifies.

      Vendeville was recently named Instructor of the Year by the Technical College System of Georgia and Chef Educator of the Year by the Low Country Chapter of the ACF. He has led student teams to win three consecutive American Culinary Federation (ACF) Southeast Regional Championships – in 2010 in the Hot Food Team competition and back-to-back wins in the Knowledge Bowl competition in 2011 and 2012.  In July 2012, the Knowledge Bowl Team earned a silver medal at the national ACF competition. He has achieved his ACF Lifetime Certification as an Executive Pastry Chef and holds a Lifetime Certification as an Executive Chef from the Chef Association of America.

      He is developing his first book, entitled Croquembouche: The Art and Technique. His book will focus on pastry and desserts, prepared in traditional French technique. It will include 250 color photographs and recipes of his creations. His book is slated for publishing this year by Taylor and Francis of London and will be distributed internationally.


Baking & Pastry Program – Academic Adviser Amber Robinson

Amy Shaffer, APR

Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (