ChefsGO 1.0 - Workforce Credential | Thomas Nelson Community College

ChefsGO 1.0 - Workforce Credential

Chef working at station in a kitchen environment
Program Details
Academic Division: 
Continuing Education & Training

Next session is tentatively scheduled to begin February 2023. Please follow our Facebook page or this page for updates.


About ChefsGO Pathway to Culinary Careers

In partnership with Williamsburg area chefs and restaurants, Thomas Nelson offers a unique opportunity to students interested in stepping into the restaurant, commercial, and non-commercial food service industries.

ChefsGO 1.0 is a  6-month culinary kickstart certificate program. The program provides 13 weeks of classroom and kitchen training (156 hours) taught by renowned, professionally-trained local chefs and industry professionals in partnership with Thomas Nelson. Classes are interactive and intensive, equipping students with foundational culinary techniques and knowledge including knife skills, equipment operation, kitchen mathematics, nutrition and food allergies, food and kitchen safety, and hands-on preparation of stocks and sauces, fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood, bakery products, and so much more. Then students participate in a 13-week paid mentorship (32-40 hours per week) in a participating restaurant following the classroom portion. This introductory culinary program will provide students with the skills needed to obtain gainful employment in a world-class restaurant and set them on a pathway to a career in Culinary Arts as well as other foodservice and hospitality opportunities.


What You Receive

  • Certificate of Completion from Thomas Nelson
  • Certified Kitchen Cook credential (upon successful completion of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute Exam)
  • Peninsula Health District Food Handler Permit
  • CPR Certification
  • Opportunity for full-time employment to begin your culinary career (completion & performance dependent)

 What’s Included in Tuition

  • Uniform (2) Chef Coats, Knife Kit, Hat, Apron, Nametag, Thermometer
  • AHLEI Text Book & Exam
  • CPR Class & Exam
  • ServSafe Food Handler textbook
  • Fine Dining Dinner experience at Waypoint Seafood & Grill


  • Open to any Peninsula resident (must be 18 years of age by October 22, 2022 to participate).
  • Cooking skills and restaurant experience not required.
  • Must be able to work in Williamsburg.
  • Must meet technical requirements (Click here to view)

Tentative dates

  • Tentative Important Dates will be posted by later this year.

Class Details

Culinary Foundations Classroom & Lab Training

  • Held at the TNCC Williamsburg Workforce Center and the Williamsburg Community Chapel kitchen in Williamsburg.
  • Attendance is mandatory.


Culinary Mentorship

Mentorships are a full-time obligation (up to 40 hours per week) at a Williamsburg area restaurant and require a flexible working schedule including days, nights, weekend, and holidays.


Important To Apply

Application Process

  • Thoroughly read and study the information session and complete the application.
  • We will schedule an interview with you and the Program Coordinators/Chefs in early June.
  • Acceptance letters will be sent.
  • Payment in full is required. We accept Checks, Money Orders, American Express, MasterCard or VISA. We do not accept Cash.

Download the Application

For more information please contact Holly Herrick at


Financial Assistance

  • Need based partial scholarships are available.
  • Financial assistance may be available for qualified candidates through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Contact the Virginia Career Works Hampton office for more information at (757) 766-4900. Start this process as soon as possible.

Download the Scholarship Application

For more information please contact Holly Herrick at


Chef Hans Schadler

"ChefsGO 1.0 is a career opportunity for interested applicants 18 years old or older to explore the basic foundation of Culinary Arts. Thought and designed by highly skilled local professionals, the program will touch on all basic academic and culinary skill sets preparing the individuals for possible entry positions in the Hospitality arena."

Chef Hans Schadler, Waypoint Seafood and Grill

Register Online

Register for classes online using the Thomas Nelson Workforce Development registration system.

Register Online