Mike Spencer - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

Tantalizing scents waft from the kitchen of The Hey Hey in German Village, and if you step inside you'll find creations by one of the most inventive chefs in town—Angie Theado.

For dinner, try a Yak burger topped with bacon, havarti cheese, and an egg; you might also want to check out the Turducken tacos stewed in guajillo chili sauce. And once you get a taste, you'll want to come back for Saturday brunch, which includes duck eggs benedict and German crepes filled with spicy fried rabbit and covered in Ohio maple syrup.

"What makes Columbus State's degree so unique is that you get both classes and work experience. You're really ahead of the game."

Though she's loved to cook since she was young, Theado started out at a four-year university studying Food Science. Then she realized she wanted to "be on the other side" of food.

"What makes Columbus State's degree so unique is that you get both classes and work experience," she says. "So when you graduate, you have something valuable to put on a resume: 'I have these three years' work experience with this good restaurant, plus I graduated with a degree.' You're really ahead of the game."

Since graduating from Columbus State in 2001, Theado has cooked and baked at some of the best small restaurants in town including Bravo, The Elevator, and Alana's. In 2011, she opened a successful food truck dubbed The Coop, and this past year added The Coop in The Hey Hey.

"I've worked with people who have graduated from Columbus State's Culinary program, and I've worked with people who have graduated from other programs. You can tell the difference!" Theado says. "Columbus State graduates are way ahead of the others—it's a really stellar program. Instructor Jim Taylor helped us a lot. He was very realistic about our work and our goals. I recommend it to anyone who asks."

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State