Special to Iredell Free News

Mitchell Community College’s Culinary Arts program recently hosted its first ever Toque Ceremony to honor graduating culinary arts students. The ceremony is named for the tall, white, traditional chef’s hat that students received during the ceremony to signify their completion of the program.

Traditionally, the height of a chef’s hat was meant to mark their rank in the kitchen, with the most executive chef wearing the tallest hat. Historically, the pleats of the toque hat are thought to have represented how many techniques or recipes a chef had achieved. Today, most chefs prefer to wear a style and type of hat that they are most comfortable with. 

After the graduates were called one by one, their instructor Chef Bob Williams placed a toque hat upon their head. Graduating students were Kashmyr Adler, Joshua Anderson, Jessica Briceño, Christopher Daniels, Abigail Granger, Jazmin Summers, and Zeke Barcenas.

Tim Brewer, president of Mitchell Community College, J.J. McEachern, vice president for Student Services, and Randy Ledford, vice president for Learning, were all present to congratulate the students.

“The best thing you can be is curious, humble, and on time,” Chef Bob said as he offered students words of wisdom to prepare them for their future culinary journeys. “Take care of your knives, your dishwashers, and your fellow chefs. Write everything down and don’t be too proud to take out the trash and do a little extra prep. You have something to learn from everyone.”