Lake Tahoe Community College launches Culinary Boot Camp |

Lake Tahoe Community College launches Culinary Boot Camp

Autumn Whitney
The new Culinary Boot Camp offers participants hands-on skills to prepare for careers in South Shore's restaurant industry.
Courtesy / Pat Leonard-Heffner |

It’s a season of change for Lake Tahoe Community College. In addition to the school’s new global business management degree, it is housing adult education program ADVANCE’s new Culinary Boot Camp, which debuts in October.

“The feedback from [restaurant] industry partners in town has been A) they can’t fill jobs, and B) the people that do come in are underprepared and don’t have basic skills [employers] would expect,” said Josh Sweigert, ADVANCE’s hospitality, tourism, recreation and retail coordinator.

Created alongside South Shore restaurant industry leaders, the boot camp’s intent is to raise the level of the culinary applicant pool and help locals receive access to better employment.

“The real big picture goal is to raise the level of prosperity and our reputation here. The perception is South Lake Tahoe is a funky place that doesn’t live up to the culinary scene in Colorado and other places. We want to raise that by starting on the ground floor to turn out top tier service and employees,” Sweigert said.

Boot camp participants will receive hands-on culinary training in LTCC’s commercial-grade kitchen, learning necessary skills to seek and obtain local culinary employment. The program goes both ways — it also helps local businesses by equipping their applicants with adequate training for a career in the industry.

The 40-hour program offers teaching in basic skills, terminology and practices in a professional kitchen. Students will learn about topics such as kitchen sanitation and safety, knife skills, butchery and more, in addition to preparing various meals in the LTCC kitchen. Each step of the food preparation process is covered, from planning to completion and cleaning. Off-site visits at restaurants such as Harvey’s are currently being planned.

“It’s designed to feed [course] completers straight to hirers. This isn’t like, ‘You’ve completed the course — good luck.’ It’s, ‘You’ve completed the course, and here are four companies ready to hire you,’” Sweigert said.

To comply with interested participants’ varying schedules, the boot camp will be offered in two sessions. One runs for five weeks, held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m. beginning on Oct. 18 and lasting until Nov. 16. The second option is a one-week, full-on intensive option, where participants attend Saturday through Wednesday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Nov. 5-9.

The course is available at no cost for adults aged 18 and older who are interested in pursuing or advancing a culinary career.

For additional information or to apply for the Culinary Boot Camp, contact Josh Sweigert at 530-541-4660 ext. 672 or

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