Back to Top
culinary students in commercial kitchen

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.

Welcome L'Academie de Cuisine Students

Were you a student of L'Academie de Cuisine?

We can help you continue your culinary and baking/pastry training.  To speak with an HCAT representative please contact the HCAT Institute at 410-777-2114.  Let us help you pursue your passion!

Areas and Offerings

  • Credit Programs

    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 majors.

    Associate of Applied Science Degrees


    Credit Certificates

  • Continuing Education

    Industry-specific job training for students interested in pursuing new opportunities or for those currently in the industry but requiring additional training is available in the following areas: 

  • Personal Enrichment

    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.

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.

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 David Ludwig, CEPC, CHE

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. 

Chef Louise Nielsen, CWPC, CHE

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.

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

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 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

Aida Blanco

Lynn Cotton

Linda Elliott

Melissa Hawkins

Diane Horn

Cheryl Ignaczak, CSC

Chef Ken Jarvis, CEC, CCE, CHE

Chef John Johnson, CEC, CCE, AAC

Karen Koch

Chef David Ludwig, CEPC, CHE

Mary Mulvihill

Chef Louise Nielsen, CWPC, CHE

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.

Become a Casino Dealer

Learn more about our Casino Dealer School

We're ranked No. 14 - Best Culinary School

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