Award Offered Certificate (4 semesters)
About the Program
Chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers prepare, season, and cook a wide range of foods in a variety of restaurants and other food service establishments. Chefs and cooks create recipes and prepare meals, while food preparation workers peel and cut vegetables, trim meat, prepare poultry, and perform other duties such as keeping work areas clean and monitoring temperatures of ovens and stovetops.
Chefs may coordinate the work of the kitchen staff, direct the preparation of meals, determine serving sizes, plan menus, order food supplies, and oversee kitchen operations to ensure uniform quality and presentation of meals.
In addition to restaurants and cafeterias, grocery and specialty food stores employ chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers to develop recipes and prepare meals for customers to carry out.
Some chefs and cooks go into business as caterers or personal chefs or they open their own restaurant. Others become instructors in culinary training programs.
The culinary arts course of study offers organized, specialized learning experiences which include theory, laboratory, and shop experience as they relate to nutrition, planning, selection, purchasing, preserving, preparing, and serving food and food products. Included in this program are the study of a variety of foods and their nutritional values, and instruction in food processing, quantity cooking, storing equipment, sanitation in food handling, and management. Instruction will emphasize nutrition and quantity food-service activities in commercial food-service establishments.
Job openings for chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers are expected to be plentiful through 2014. Employment growth will be spurred by increases in population, household income, and leisure time that allows people to dine out and take vacations more often. Median annual earnings of chefs and head cooks were $42,480 in May 2012, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $74,120 per year. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)