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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.


Areas and Offerings

Faculty and Staff

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, Director

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.

Chef David Ludwig, CEPC, CHE, Assistant Director

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. 

HCAT Instructional Staff/Advisors 

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.

Baking and Pastry

Chef Carrie Svoboda, CWPC

Email Carrie or call 410-777-2065

Carrie Svoboda, CWPC received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Education from Long Island University.  Carrie worked as a public school teacher both here in Maryland and in New York.  She then returned to the classroom as a student to earn her Associates Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Anne Arundel Community College.  Her experience includes a variety of positions including Army Navy Country Club, Happy Chicken Bakery and Knoxie’s Table.  She has now combined her love for baking and pastry with her passion to share knowledge with others.  Carrie began teaching at Anne Arundel Community College as an adjunct instructor for the Hotel, Culinary and Tourism Institute in 2016 and joined the team as an Instructional Specialist in 2018.  She is a Certified Working Pastry Chef through the ACF.

Chef Virginia Olson, CWPC, CHE

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.


Chef John V. Johnson CEC, CCE, AAC

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.

Chef Randy Stahl, CEC

Email Randy or call 410-777-1178.

Chef Randy Stahl began his culinary career in the Kosher catering business while still in high school working through summers and holiday breaks at Merrickana Kosher Caterers in New York. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971 with an economics degree and business minor he attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York graduating with high honors in 1974. Upon graduation he worked as sous chef and chef de cuisine at Sal Anthony’s in Gramercy Park, NYC where he earned 3 stars from the New York Times.
In 1977, Randy joined the Country Fare Group of restaurants as chef-partner in a new Italian restaurant start up Fiori specializing in homemade Italian casa lingua style cuisine. In 1980 Randy co-founded another Baltimore landmark restaurant, The Brass Elephant. A restored 1870’s property earned him the first of Maryland’s Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DIRONA). Esquire Magazine awarded The Brass Elephant one of the top new 75 restaurants in 1981. The Brass Elephant has been a perennial Baltimore Magazine’s Best winner in many fine dining categories including most romantic, best wine list, best Italian cuisine and best cocktails. In 1995, Randy and his staff were selected to prepare the banquet following Pope John Paul II mass at Camden Yards in the private residence of Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore.
Throughout his career, Randy has committed to many local and national charities including Maryland Food Bank, Second Helping, Share our Strength, Operation Frontline, Great Chefs Dinner for the Center for Child Abuse Prevention Center of Maryland, American Cancer Foundation, Kidney Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Heritage Festival, American Culinary Federation and Cystic Fibrosis. In 1997 Governor Parish Glendenning awarded Randy with the State of Maryland Governor’s Volunteer of the year.
In 2000 Randy co-designed and built a fast casual 240 seat Italian concept Remomo café Italia in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He worked as Executive Chef-General Manager at Remomo until 2011 when he began his second career at Anne Arundel Community College.

Hospitality Management

Chef Donnisha Grant, MSIHM, CHE

Email Donnisha or call 410-777-2314

Donnisha Grant, MSIHM, CHE, teaches hospitality courses on all levels: culinary math, food safety and sanitation, career leadership development, entrepreneurial leadership and organization behavior. With over 5 years of teaching experience and over 10 years of industry experience, her main focus is to attract and expand the minds of students who are entering the hospitality management field. Because of her culinary background, Ms. Grant has the ability to transition from hospitality to culinary courses, redirecting the focus from customer service and costing out recipes to effective purchasing and proper sanitation. Donnisha received her A.A.S. in Culinary Arts from Baltimore International College. After the completion of that degree, she received her B.S in Hospitality Management from Morgan State University and then obtained her M.Ed. with Strayer University. Finally, she completed her Certified Hospitality Educator certification and followed that certification up with the completion of her second Master’s degree in International Hospitality Management with Stratford University.

Chef Ken Jarvis, CEC, CCE, CHE

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.

Noncredit Food and Culinary Arts

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.

Noncredit Instructors

Linda Elliott

Melissa Hawkins

Diane Horn

Cheryl Ignaczak, CSC

Chef Ken Jarvis, CEC, CCE, CHE

Chef John Johnson, CEC, CCE, AAC

Chef David Ludwig, CEPC, CHE

Mary Mulvihill

Chef Virginia Olson, CHE, CWPC

Darlene Proctor

Christine Romans

Michael Santos

Carrie Svoboda

Melissa Tillett

Tim Trigilio

Ted Tyler

Our Home

HCAT Institute

7438 Gov. Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21061


Our Mission

To provide accessibility to an array of high quality, credentialed programs; experiential learning; responsive, customized training for business; and fun and credible community education activities that support the hotel, culinary arts and tourism needs of the industry and the consumer.

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Resources for Students

We are pleased to offer our students unique opportunities including travel study, internships, competitive teams, and professional student clubs.

HCAT Advisory Board