Culinary arts is one of the most exciting and creative career paths. Earning a certificate or degree in culinary arts is a great way to jumpstart your culinary career. Read on to learn what a culinary arts program is like and how you can find a school near you today!
What's a Culinary Arts Program Like?
Though programs differ between schools, a good program must cover all aspects of a commercial kitchen. Culinary arts programs normally grant either certificates or associate degrees. The length of the program will depend on what program you choose. A certificate program may take a year or less to complete. While an associate's degree program normally takes about 2 years for full time students.
What You'll Learn During Your Culinary Program
During a culinary program, you will learn everything about cooking, from the very basics to professional techniques. Some skills you will learn include proper knife techniques, as well as how to properly cut and prepare all types of foods. You will also learn seasoning techniques, measurements and conversions, basic food preparation, and portion sizing. A good culinary program will cover all dry heat and moist heat cooking techniques and how to apply them correctly.
Kitchen sanitation is extremely important for the health and safety of diners. Because of this, culinary courses offer classes devoted to sanitation. You will learn how to safely prepare and cook raw foods, prevent cross contamination, and effectively sanitize work surfaces.
Beverages are also a large part of the culinary arts. A good program will cover all aspects of beverage service, including serving alcohol and creating food pairings.
Breads, pastries, and cakes are also covered in many culinary arts programs. In pastry arts classes you will learn everything from the basics of yeasted doughs to lamination, choux pastry, and wedding cakes. Many culinary programs even teach confectionary and special chocolate techniques classes.
In any kitchen, professionalism and safety are highly valued. Chefs are responsible for managing all back-of-house operations and culinary programs instruct you on how to be a leader in a commercial kitchen setting. In these classes you will learn how to prepare menus within a budget, hire and motivate staff, and manage a fast-paced kitchen. In addition, some culinary programs may offer ServSafe certifications through their classes.