Certified Executive Chef (CEC) Francine Marz joins Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) as the new director of its Culinary Arts Institute, which will officially open in late August in Towamencin Town Square.
Chef Marz has an impressive resume of professional accolades, including a medal from the Food & Hotel China (FHC) culinary competition in Shanghai, China. She served as a board member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) in Phoenix, AZ, and has held multiple sous chef, banquet chef and executive chef positions with Marriott and Renaissance Hotels, among other elite establishments. She has also taught many cooking classes at Le Creuset and Williams Sonoma, and has been featured on several radio and television segments in various parts of the country.
With more than 15 years of industry experience, Chef Marz claims to “do a little bit of everything” in culinary and pastry arts, which has enabled her to combine her two passions – food and travel – into a successful and diverse career.
“Foods are very regional, and the best way to see the country is to cook your way through it,” shared Marz, noting that she has traveled to and/or cooked in every region of the United States, learning how to prepare regional cuisines from the people who make them everyday. “I can bring my experiences from all these places to my students.”
Her passion for sharing her knowledge has led Chef Marz to MCCC, where her leadership will be instrumental in launching the new Culinary Arts Institute.
“I strive to be the instructor/director I wish I had. All of my decisions go back to ‘how does this affect or influence students?’ That’s the priority,” she said.
Marz holds her students to high standards. In return, they can expect a lively learning environment that blends culinary lessons with culturally-relevant music and media. They may even get some comedy – a throwback to the six months Chef Marz spent learning and performing stand-up comedy while she was in culinary school.
Prior to arriving at MCCC, Marz was the Academic Department Director of Culinary Programs at the Art Institute of Phoenix, where she realigned curriculum with industry stands and introduced a new Hospitality, Food and Beverage degree program. She also taught a variety of culinary lab and lecture courses, as well as, coached multiple International and regional student culinary competition teams.
Marz attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C., earning Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees in both Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts, and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Food Service Management. She also did a competitive internship as a culinary/baking assistant at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Fla. In 2011, she completed a Master’s of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree with concentrations in Finance and International Business from Argosy University in Phoenix, Ariz.
To learn more about the Culinary Arts Institute at Montgomery County Community College, visit mc3.edu/culinary.