Culinary Arts Archives - Southwestern Illinois College

SWIC Husband and Wife Faculty receive STL Community College Distinguished Alumni Honor

Recently, Southwestern Illinois College Full-Time Culinary Arts Instructor Tom Noonan and his wife, SWIC Part-Time Senior Adjunct Instructor Joy Noonan were added to the St. Louis Community College Wall of Fame as Distinguished Alumni during the STLCC Graduate and Alumni Reception. 

The couple was honored by their alma mater for decades of excellence in the culinary industry. Tom and Joy have taught Culinary Arts and Food Management courses at SWIC since 1996 and 1997 respectively.

“Seeing students advance, grow as people and be fully skilled at managing a restaurant kitchen, is one of the most fulfilling things about teaching,” said Joy.

Tom started his culinary journey at STLCC at Forest Park by earning his Associate in Applied Science in Hospitality Restaurant Management in 1978. From there, he went on to become a sous chef for Chef Buel Day at the University Club in St. Louis and held positions at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Yacht Club of St. Louis, Russo’s Catering of St. Louis and Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles.

SWIC Full-Time Culinary Arts Instructor, Tom Noonan, right and his wife, SWIC Part-Time Senior Adjunct Instructor, Joy Noonan, left. 

 “I tell my students to keep focused, be professional and fair,” said Tom.

He started his career at SWIC under the late Lead Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Ollie Sommer. Tom has taught several culinary courses at SWIC including Professional Food Preparation I; Professional Food Preparation II; Soups, Stock and Sauces; Baking and Pastry; Culinary Nutrition for Food Service and Advanced Professional Cooking. Tom has also earned an Associate in Applied Science in Baking from STLCC at Forest Park.

 Joy began her love for the culinary arts as a teenager. She graduated from STLCC at Forest Park with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Hospitality Restaurant Management in 1985. She has held positions at the Mother In Law House in St. Charles and Forest Hills Country Club in Chesterfield, Sheraton Westport in St. Louis and she also keeps her culinary skills current by working at a smokehouse in Edwardsville, when needed.

 At SWIC, she has taught courses including Professional Food Preparation I; Baking and Pastry; Culinary Nutrition for Food Service; Bread, Rolls and Pastries; Advanced Professional Baking and Food Service Sanitation.

Both are members of the Chef de Cuisine Association of St. Louis and are certified chefs through the American Culinary Federation.

In their free time, Tom and Joy like to spend time with their friends and family. They live in Edwardsville and have two sons, Joseph and Jeffery and a daughter-in-law, Marissa.

For more information on the SWIC Culinary Arts program, visit or call Coordinator Leisa Brockman at 618-235-2700, ext. 5436.