First founded in 1957 by Hermann G. Rusch, The Greenbrier Culinary Apprenticeship Program has trained some of the world’s top chefs and culinary leaders, with 355 alumni in 65 years. The Greenbrier Culinary Apprenticeship Program is not a culinary school, but rather an intense hands-on training program designed to refine and develop the skills necessary to be successful in any establishment in the food and beverage industry. The program is meant to train and challenge apprentices in all aspects of food production, furthering their knowledge of classical cuisine and modern techniques.
The Greenbrier Culinary Apprenticeship Program — which features both savory and pastry disciplines — is a three-year program that teaches apprentices skills through a mix of lectures, demos, practicals, and hands-on rotations in various venues and outlets on the property. The lectures and practicals cover a wide range of topics and occur on a weekly basis. The savory program starts every year at the end of May, and the pastry starts in March. The two graduate together in early February.
The second component to the Apprenticeship Program is a series of hands-on rotations to different venues and positions every 8 to 10 weeks. In their Sophomore year, apprentices rotate through Draper's, In Room Dining, Banquets/Catering, and as a Restaurant Tournant. For their Junior year, apprentices rotate through Prime 44 West, Sam Snead’s, Outdoor Pool, the Main Dining Room, and Garde Manager. In their final year, apprentices rotate through The Forum, Banqueting, In-Fusion and The Main Dining Room. At times, these rotations and plan of study may vary slightly, based on hotel needs, but the structure, foundation, and integrity of the program always stays the same.
By the end of the program, individuals will have developed skills in an array of areas including: menu planning, stocks, sauce making, gastronomy, classical cuisine, regional and international cuisine, food and wine pairings, butchery, cold food displays, and leadership. Upon graduation, the apprentices will participate in a hot food and cold food competition against fellow apprentices. A small group of judges is brought in to critique, judge, and hand out awards. These competition platforms vary year to year; please see the PDF files of the past culinary graduation program. The 3-year apprenticeship ends with a Gold Service ceremony, during which the apprentice’s immediate family is invited to stay and enjoy The Greenbrier as a thank you for their work.
Follow on social media for the latest information on the Apprenticeship Program, as well as the culinary team at The Greenbrier. Follow Executive Chef Bryan Skelding on Instagram @bryanskelding
and Executive Pastry Chef Jean Francois Suteau @jeanfrancoissuteau
. Also, check out the hashtags #greenbrierculinary, #greenbrierkitchen and #TheGreenbrier. On YouTube, follow Greenbrier Kitchen
for behind-the-scenes videos.
History of the Apprenticeship