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  • Culinary Apprenticeship Program

The Greenbrier Culinary Apprenticeship Program is a long-revered institution that stands as a symbol of our commitment to culinary excellence. Through its world-class education and training, this esteemed program has molded and mentored some of the world’s most celebrated chefs and culinary leaders.

culinary apprenticeship program

History of the Apprenticeship

When Hermann Rusch became Executive Food Director of The Greenbrier in 1957, he discovered that all the chefs were European. At that time, there was simply no place in the United States where an American culinary student could learn classic cuisine. With the support of E. Truman Wright, President and Managing Director of The Greenbrier, Rusch decided that they needed to do something about the lack of trained cooks in this country — and so they did.

The same year, The Greenbrier Culinary Apprenticeship Program was created. To date, this program has graduated over 300 chefs who hold positions in some of the world’s finest restaurants and resorts.

About The Program

The Greenbrier’s Culinary Apprenticeship Program is a three-year educational experience offering both savory and pastry paths, blending insightful weekly lectures, hands-on practicals, and immersive venue rotations. Each year, the savory program starts in May, pastry in March, and both graduate together in February.

The program’s second component involves eight to ten-week hands-on rotations, beginning with Draper’s, In-Room Dining, and Banquets and Catering. In the Junior year, rotations encompass Prime 44 West, Sam Snead’s, Tree Tops Café, the Main Dining Room, and Garde Manger. In the final year, rotations include The Forum, Banqueting, In-Fusion, and The Main Dining Room, occasionally subject to adjustments based on hotel needs while maintaining the program’s essence.

Throughout the apprenticeship, students will have developed skills in menu planning, cuisine styles, food and wine pairings, butchery, and leadership. Graduates participate in a culinary competition and culminate their journey with a Gold Service ceremony, inviting family to enjoy The Greenbrier as a gesture of gratitude for their dedication.

Apply to the Culinary Apprenticeship Program

Application requirements:

  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • A written essay detailing why you should be selected.
  • Résumé.
  • Stage at The Greenbrier. Find the Greenbrier stagier application here.

You must have one or more of the following:

  • An associate degree or higher from an accredited culinary school.
  • Five years of experience in a fine dining restaurant or resort comparable to The Greenbrier.

It is also highly recommended that candidates complete a full season in The Greenbrier’s kitchens before beginning the culinary apprenticeship program. To apply, please send your completed application to The Greenbrier’s Executive Chef, Bryan Skelding, at [email protected].

Culinary Apprenticeship Graduation Book

Culinary Apprenticeship Competition Manual