ChefsGO 1.0 - Workforce Credential | Thomas Nelson Community College

ChefsGO 1.0 - Workforce Credential

In a move to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 amid a surging new variant, Thomas Nelson (becoming Virginia Peninsula Community College) is switching most of its classes from in-person to virtual for the first two weeks of spring semester. Read more.

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

Next session begins August 2021. Application Deadline May 28.


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, 2021 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

  • Info Sessions are a self-paced online course and will be available with online applications   April 16, 2021.
  • Deadline to apply is May 28, 2021.
  • Interviews will be held June 14 – June 18, 2021.
  • Registration and Payment Due by July 23, 2021
  • Class Dates August 2, 2021 - October 21, 2021
  • Mentorship Dates October 22, 2021 – January 3, 2022
  • Graduation Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Class Details

Culinary Foundations Classroom & Lab Training

  • August 2, 2020 – October 21, 2021, Monday – Wednesday afternoons
  • Held at the TNCC Williamsburg Workforce Center and the Williamsburg Community Chapel kitchen in Williamsburg.
  • Attendance is mandatory.


Culinary Mentorship

October 22, 2021 – January 3, 2022

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 by May 28, 2021.
  • We will schedule an interview with you and the Program Coordinators/Chefs in early June.
  • Acceptance letters will be sent June 25, 2021.
  • Payment in full is required by July 23, 2021. We accept Checks, Money Orders, American Express, MasterCard or VISA. We do not accept Cash

Download the Application

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