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Student Opportunities

Students at the Culinary Institute of Charleston have many opportunities for involvement in the community. Externships allow students to practice techniques and skills learned in the classroom and gain the hands-on experience employers seek.


Micah Garrison

Palmetto Mushroom

When did you first become interested in your field of work?

In August, 2014, I took the first class ever in South Carolina to become a certified mushroom forager.

What made you decide to go to CIC?

Moved here from Columbia in 2001; the program was rebranding itself and I wanted to be a part of that.

What was the most important thing that you learned at CIC?

Learning to always be optimistic; you never know what opportunity may come from the connections of the program.

What was your first paid position in your field?

Washing dishes in a restaurant when I was 17.

What has been the highlight in your career so far?

Over a 20-year tenure in the culinary and agriculture field, I have evolved into being a business owner. At Palmetto Mushrooms, we grow and forage Certified S.C. mushrooms for Lowcountry chefs and residents. It’s amazing to be building a company while doing something that I am very passionate about.

What would be your advice for CIC students?

Be social with your peers and learn from each other’s experiences and backgrounds, as well as your instructors.

The Hospitality and Culinary Service Association (HCSA) is a great way to get involved and make a difference. Special events, such as the college's A Night in the Valley black-tie fundraiser dinner for 600 guests, give students a chance to show off their knowledge and make important contacts in the industry and community. 

Students taking the Farm to Plate culinary course take a three-day field trip to Asheville, North Carolina. There they tour the Biltmore Estate's farm and winery, learn how artisan chocolates are made at the French Broad Chocolate Company, watch the trout pulled from the runs at Sunburst Trout Farm, and experience locavore cuisine at The Corner Table. On the study-abroad trip to Italy, students learn about Italian cuisine at the Apicius International School in Florence and through many field trips around the rich countryside. More trips are just waiting to be taken.