CAC Expands Culinary Arts Program

By Angela Askey, Director of Marketing

Central Arizona College is expanding its Culinary Arts program to three campuses this fall. Students may elect to begin their culinary arts journey at the Maricopa Campus, Signal Peak Campus and now, the San Tan Campus.

The Culinary Arts program at Central Arizona College offers several degree and certificates that can enhance job skills and increase employment possibilities. Students may enroll for one class or follow a certificate or degree path: Baking Certificate; Culinary Arts Certificate I; and Culinary Arts Certificate II; or Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Science degree.

Food Service Management (HRM103) and Introduction to Hospitality (HRM100) are being offered at the San Tan Campus this fall with a myriad of culinary arts classes available throughout the district.

A new trio of chefs have joined the CAC staff; Amanda Celaya, Jasun Zakro and LaDawn Yazzie.

Chef Celaya will lead the newest program at the San Tan Campus. She is a CAC graduate in hotel restuarant management and culinary arts. She continued her education at Northern Arizona University where she earned a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management and master's degree in career and technical education. Chef Celaya has been teaching since 2009 and has worked in the hotel and restaurant industry for over six years. She also worked for Walt Disney World in Florida and Canyon Ranch Resort and Spa in Tucson, Ariz.

Jasun Zakro will serve as the Culinary Arts Instructor at the Signal Peak Campus. He earned an associate of applied science degree in culinary arts from Scottsdale Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University. Chef Zakro is a certified Servsafe Instructor and Proctor, Dietary Manager and School Nutrition Specialist. He’s taught for five years at the college level and is a contributor to, an online cooking school. He served in military food service for 16 and has 19 years of experience working in all aspects of commercial and non-commercial food service.

LaDawn Yazzie, will provide instruction at the Maricopa Campus. She is from the Navajo Nation tribe of Northern Arizona. She received an associate’s degree in culinary arts and in 2012, a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Arizona State University. She previously worked as an Associate Director of Nutrition/Chef with a foodservice management company. During her time with the company she realized how much she missed talking and learning about other peoples’ experiences with food. Chef Yazzie believes quality food and good nutrition make the body a better place to live.

To learn more about CAC’s culinary arts program, please visit

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814