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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.

At HCAT, our mission is 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.

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.

Chef Matthew Herron, CCE, Director

Email Matt or call 410-777-2707

Chef Matt Herron, CCE, has a deep seated passion for food and the food industry. This can be seen through his over 20 years of experience running kitchens in casinos, restaurants, grocery, as well as a background in TV shows, publications, and food styling at America’s Test Kitchen. Prior to joining AACC, Matt started down the path of education by hosting internship programs, and functioned as the program Chair at Le Cordon Bleu. This journey continues to drive him, and as the director of the HCAT program he works to develop and maintain sound educational systems that are learner-centric, with a foundation based on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that the community needs. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Penn State, an A.A.S and a B.S. in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales, and an M. Ed. in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue.

Chef Donnisha Grant, MSIHM, CHE, Assistant Director

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 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 age 16. After attending the Academy of Culinary Arts, he spent four years working as a boulanger under Chef Michel Gras at La Patisserie, a French Bakery in Cape May, N.J. Ludwig 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, Va. He 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, N.Y., and Greystone, Calif. After moving to Maryland, he helped reopen Reynold's Tavern in Annapolis as chef for the English Tea Room. During this time, he began working as an adjunct instructor for AACC's Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute. Ludwig has taught full-time as an instructional specialist since 2005, has coached Team Anne Arundel and is an adviser to the HCAT Chef’s Club. Ludwig is a Certified Hospitality Educator, a Certified Executive Pastry Chef and a certification evaluator for the American Culinary Federation.  

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 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. She has worked as a pastry chef at the Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore, at 1789 in Georgetown and Butterfield 9 in downtown Washington, D.C. She is a certified Working Pastry Chef and has been with HCAT since 2002. Olson holds a master’s in Russian Studies from Georgetown University, a bachelor’s 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 and specializes in artisan breads, chocolate and confections. Olson has completed additional programs of study at the International School of Confectionary Arts, CIA Greystone in Napa, Calif., and King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vt., Chocolate Academy in Chicago, and Valrhona in Brooklyn, N.Y.



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 40 years. His experience includes opening the Brass Elephant Restaurant in Baltimore and being executive chef at Rolling Road Golf Club and Great Occasions Catering. Johnson has taught culinary arts with the Howard County Public School System, Carver Center for Arts and Technology, and Johnson & Wales University in Denver. He has been teaching at Anne Arundel Community College’s Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute since 2008. Johnson 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. Johnson 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, Johnson enjoys golf, scuba diving and skiing.

Chef Michael Levins, CEC, CCA, WCEC

Email Michael or call 410-777-2918

Michael Levins’ background in the culinary industry covers over 20 years in many roles. Some of his career highlights include the Vanity Fair Oscar Party and working at Walt Disney at the Rotunda, in the executive dining room. In addition to his position at the college, he holds several positions and appointments, including Certification Chair for the Greater Baltimore ACF chapter, Certification Evaluator Trainer for the ACF and most recently, Post-Secondary Accreditation Education Evaluator by the ACF. Levins is a certified executive chef, certified culinary administrator and world certified executive chef. 

Chef Randy Stahl, CEC

Email Randy or call 410-777-1178.

Chef Randy Stahl began his culinary career 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, N.Y. After graduating with high honors in 1974, Stahl worked as sous chef and chef de cuisine at Sal Anthony’s in Gramercy Park, New York City, where he earned three stars from The New York Times.

In 1977, Stahl joined the Country Fare Group as chef-partner in Fiori, a new Italian restaurant specializing in homemade Italian casa lingua style cuisine. In 1980, he co-founded another Baltimore landmark restaurant, The Brass Elephant. This restored 1870s 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, Stahl and his staff were selected to prepare the banquet following Pope John Paul II mass at Camden Yards in the private residence of Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore.

Throughout his career, Stahl 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, Gov. Parris Glendenning awarded Stahl with the State of Maryland Governor’s Volunteer of the year.

In 2000, Stahl co-designed and built a fast, casual, 240-seat Italian concept Remomo café Italia in Anne Arundel County. 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 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

Tia Berry

Natashia Blake

Laurie Boucher

Greg Bujak

Lisa Byrd

Melissa Hawkins

Cheryl Ignaczak, CSC

Roberta Lowe

Darlene Proctor

Dan Rendulic

Christine Romans

Michael Santos

Rebecca Sileo

Carrie Svoboda

Ted Tyler

Doug Watson



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