The Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute (HCAT) is a leader in providing credit and noncredit courses and programs to meet the needs of a dynamic and expanding hospitality industry.
The hospitality industry is Maryland’s largest private employer and continues to expand here and across the nation. Career prospects are best for those with a college education and training.
HCAT's Associate of Applied Science degree is accredited by both the American Culinary Federation Foundation's Accrediting Commission and the Accrediting Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. Students may select from several concentrations.
The HCAT Institute also offers a variety of noncredit cooking classes for beginners and culinary experts alike in the areas of Cooking Demonstrations, Entertaining and Lifestyle, Food and Society, Hands-on Cooking, Tasting Series and Wine and Beer Academy. Tempt your taste buds with delicious demonstrations, hands-on cooking and wine and beer classes.
We have gaming classes aimed at helping complete beginners and those who are already familiar with how to play casino games. Never played in a casino before? We’ll help you get started?
The staff and faculty of HCAT Institute have a commitment to academic excellence and an enthusiasm to help students excel while maintaining a nationally-recognized status as a leader in all aspects of hospitality training.
Mary Ellen Mason, FMP, is the Director of the Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute at Anne Arundel Community College. Prior to joining AACC, she owned and operated Occasion Extraordinaire, Ltd., a full service catering company. She joined HCAT as a part-time instructor in 1990, working in various capacities and becoming assistant director in 2001. During her tenure, she managed an American Culinary Federation chef apprentice program and award winning student culinary team, as well as established an active business advisory board. Her responsibilities include the strategic direction and management of the Institute’s daily operations. She directs the International Culinary Internship Program, which offers students ten weeks of training in world-class resorts on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Active in hospitality organizations, Mary Ellen serves on the board of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board Task Force for Hospitality and Tourism, the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation and the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation. Recent awards include the Education Excellence award in 2007 and the TWIN award, Tribute to Women in Industry in 2008. She is an active member of the American Culinary Federation. Mary Ellen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Strayer University. She also holds a Food Manager Professional (FMP) certification from the National Restaurant Association.
HCAT's instructional staff is ACF accredited and have a broad, extensive background of industry experience. Professionals with a passion for excellence in education, they are dedicated to improving student learning and outcomes. Learn more about our team and read their biographies below.
Email David or call 410-777-2063.
Chef David Ludwig, CEPC, CHE, began his career as a pizza maker at the age of 16. After attending the Academy of Culinary Arts, he spent 4 years working for a French Boulanger, Michel Gras, at La Patisserie, a French Bakery in Cape May, New Jersey. David spent the next five years in various positions, including pastry cook at the Trellis Restaurant, and executive pastry chef for the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia. David then accepted a position at the Five-Star, Five-Diamond Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA. While there, he completed several courses at the Culinary Institute of America, both in Hyde Park, NY and Greystone, CA. After moving to Maryland, David helped re-open the Reynold's Tavern in Annapolis as chef for their English Tea Room. During this time, he began working as an adjunct instructor for the Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute. He has taught full-time as an Instructional Specialist since 2005 and is adviser to the HCAT Chef’s Club. David is a member of the American Culinary Federation, and he is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef.
Email Louise or call 410-777-2065.
Chef Louise Nielsen, has been in the food service industry for over 20 years. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State University, she worked in New York City in the publishing field. Her love of baking and cooking brought her back to school, where she graduated from the Culinary Institute of America’s Baking and Pastry program. During her studies there, she also completed several courses in Culinary Arts. Her experience includes Pastry Chef positions at The Everyday Gourmet in Takoma Park, MD; Clyde’s of Reston; Harry Browne’s in Annapolis; Sequoia and the opening Pastry Chef at B. Smith’s at Union Station, both in Washington, D.C. She began teaching at Anne Arundel Community College as an Adjunct Professor for the Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute. She has been teaching full-time as Instructional Specialist since 2010. She is a certified ServSafe Sanitation Instructor and Proctor through the National Restaurant Association. She is a Certified Hospitality Educator through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. She is a member of the American Culinary Federation and the International Cake Exploration Societé.
Email Virginia or call 410-777-2208.
Chef Virginia Olson, CWPC, CHE, began her culinary career in pastry at The Main Ingredient in Annapolis and Renaissance Pastries in Savage, Maryland. She has worked as a pastry chef at the Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore, at 1789 in Georgetown and Butterfield 9 in downtown Washington, DC. She is a certified Working Pastry Chef and is in her 8th full year at Anne Arundel Community College. Chef Olson holds a Master’s Degree in Russian Studies from Georgetown University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian and International Studies from the University of Oregon and has traveled extensively in the United States and Europe. She is a 1995 graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland and currently specializes in artisan breads, chocolate and confections. Chef Olson has completed additional programs of study at the International School of Confectionary Arts, CIA Greystone in Napa, California and King Arthur Flour, Norwich, Vermont.
Email John or call 410-777-1225.
Chef John V. Johnson CEC, CCE, AAC, has been in the food service industry for over 30 years. His experience includes opening the Brass Elephant Restaurant in Baltimore and being the executive chef at Rolling Road Golf Club and Great Occasions Catering. John has taught culinary arts for the past 21 years with the Howard County Public School System, Carver Center for Arts and Technology, and Johnson & Wales University in Denver. He is currently teaching at Anne Arundel Community College’s Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Tourism Institute. John is a Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, the National Honor Society of the American Culinary Federation. John was the Maryland ProStart Teacher of the Year in 2004 and the Colorado Chef Educator of the Year in 2006. He graduated Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications. His enthusiastic love of food fuels his energy for teaching. In his spare time, John enjoys golf, scuba diving and skiing.
Email Randy or call 410-777-1178.
Bio coming soon.
Email Ken or call 410-777-2722.
Ken Jarvis, Professor, CEC, CCE, CHE, has been with the HCAT Institute since 1993. His 26 years of extensive professional experience in both front and back-of-the-house positions for full-service and catering establishments prepared him for his current position at HCAT. He has a long list of accomplishments including direct management of a 250-seat restaurant as well as an exclusive catering business; food, equipment and supplies distribution; and Executive Chef/management at a local waterfront restaurant. Ken holds a Master of Science degree in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Food Service Administration, Dietetics and Nutritional Care, and an Associate Degree in Occupational Studies from the Culinary Institute of America. He is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the American Culinary Federation.
AACC’s Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute is pleased to provide top-notch instruction for their noncredit classes by leading professionals from AACC’s staff and the community.
Cheryl Ignaczak, CSC
Chef Ken Jarvis, CEC, CCE, CHE
Chef John Johnson, CEC, CCE, AAC
Chef David Ludwig, CEPC, CHE
Chef Louise Nielsen, CWPC, CHE
Chef Virginia Olson, CHE, CWPC