THE CSCA CULINARY PROGRAM

Professional Chef Training Courses

For nearly 50 years, Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (CSCA) has fostered culinary passion and expertise in an intimate and nurturing environment. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the hub of the New England culinary scene, we have helped thousands of students pursue their culinary and pastry education within our kitchens. Our alumni continue to find great success as chefs and industry leaders across New England, the United States, and internationally. Today we offer you the opportunity to join the CSCA family and launch your culinary future. Become a chef.

HOW CAN WE GUIDE YOU?

professional chef

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

What Sets CSCA Apart?

“What sets CSCA apart from everyone else are the instructors. They each come from such masterful and diverse backgrounds and genuinely want you to succeed. They are devoted to their students and that’s why the minute I set foot in the building, I never wanted to leave.”
– Heidi Anderson, Event & Private Chef, Professional Chef’s Program, 2019

MASTER THE ART OF JOY

Professional Chef Program

Develop and build upon the fundamentals of classic and modern culinary and pastry techniques, including advanced knife skills, history and culture of international cuisines, nutrition, wine, and food management during this intensive 37-week program. 

chef training

Chef Program Overview

The Professional Chef’s Program (PCP) delves deep into the science and art of international cooking and pastry techniques. The program is composed of courses in basic techniques, baking, regional cuisines, and intensive classical French techniques. As a graduate of the CSCA Professional Chef’s Program, you will be prepared for positions such as line cook, sous chef, caterer, personal chef, and CSCA recreational instructor. Many graduates have gone on to quickly launch successful ventures of their own including restaurants, food delivery services, and specialty food shops.

  • Complete over 740 hours of culinary arts training and education over 37 weeks
  • Scheduling flexibility in selecting two (eight-hour) days of laboratory instruction and three hours of seminar instruction weekly
  • Intimate, hands-on laboratories working with instructors in a 12 to 1 student to instructor ratio
  • Graded coursework includes lab performance, quizzes, seminar exams and projects, events, mid-term exams, final practicum, portfolio, creative practicum, and final written exam
  • Event credits may be fulfilled through teaching assistantships, offsite event support, and additional culinary opportunities as presented
culinary courses

Culinary Lab Classes

These lab classes build upon the skills and techniques acquired in the Culinary Certificate Program, delving deeper into hands-on exploration of different cuisines and techniques, adding to your marketability and versatility in the culinary industry.

Discover the world’s most celebrated style of cooking in this intensive exploration of France. Study political and geographical influences that shaped each region’s signature style through an in-depth exploration of the regional dishes, ingredients, and flavors found throughout the country. Prepare authentic meals, taste and evaluate cheese and wine pairings, and develop your understanding of the subtle and extreme differences that identify the distinct characteristics of each region.

Travel the culinary landscape of Italy, experiencing the history, folklore, and natural geography that have shaped one of the world’s most popular cuisines. Each of Italy’s unique regions can be defined by local ingredients, a simplistic approach to cooking, and an emphasis on robust flavors. Discover authentic Italian cuisine, the art of hand-shaping pasta, cheese and wine pairings, and traditional ingredients from across the regions.

Learn the intricate and advanced techniques of French cooking that have shaped the meaning of fine dining from classical to haute to nouvelle cuisine. Trace the history of cuisine in France and discover the contributions of the great chefs and leaders who paved the way. Practice classic garde manger techniques from working with aspics, forcemeats, and charcuterie to presenting stunning pâtés, terrines, and galantines. Follow the haute cuisine movement, which emphasized service à la russe (serving meals in courses) and formalized the use of mother sauces and elaborate presentation. This course concludes with an introduction to nouvelle cuisine, the movement in which classical French cuisine was rediscovered and modernized.

Transport yourself across the globe by studying and working with the ingredients, techniques, and dishes found in China, Japan, India, Vietnam, and Thailand. Learn the styles and flavor profiles unique to each country and start to unfurl the mystery of fusion cuisine.

Discover American cuisine from New England to the deep South to the Pacific Northwest. Learn how early Americans incorporated elements from their native cuisines and made them uniquely their own with the introduction of local and regional ingredients. Create and evaluate traditional and modern recipes within the context of their historical and cultural frameworks.

become garde manger

Culinary Seminars

Further advance your culinary knowledge and build up your professional marketability through a wide range of seminar topics.

Receive an overview of food and nutrition science and its role in today’s foodservice industry. Become proficient in nutritional standards, dietary guidelines, and the nutrients and composition of specific foods. Review relevant topics such as fad diets, genetic engineering, reading food labels, adapting recipes for specific dietary needs, and evaluating nutritional claims.

Heighten your senses during this interactive overview of wine production, the political and historical events that influenced wine culture, and varietals from across the globe. Explore wine tasting practices to help you develop your palate and better assess grape variety, quality, and value. Address popular and unusual food and wine pairings with various white, red, sparkling, and fortified wines to understand the logic behind menu recommendations.

Taste European and American cheeses and gain an appreciation of the distinct characteristics of cheese styles, including bloomy-rind, washed-rind, semi-firm, hard, and blue cheeses. Compare several samples within each category and learn about the history, cultural relevancy, production, and proper storage of each. Building upon this knowledge, you will start to appreciate cheese plates, pairings, and the role of professional cheese buying in the foodservice industry.

Reading about food can be life changing, whether from a memoir, a blog, scripts for movies, magazine articles and cookbooks, and reviews. Learn how current writers land a book deal, how bloggers launch their pages and brands, how to write pitch letters, and create your personal writing niche through prose and voice. Discover sources and tools for getting your work published in magazines, newspapers, and online publications and practice your craft through guided exercises.

From developing clientele to mastering transportation and creative flexibility, the art of catering appeals to many seeking an alternative to restaurant work. Discover the professional skills and business techniques that will help you find success as a caterer.

EARN THE TITLE OF CHEF IN JUST 16 WEEKS!

Culinary Certificate Program

Learn the fundamentals of cooking and baking, including advanced knife skills, food service safety, and food management during CSCA’s robust 16-week Culinary Certificate Program.

become a sous chef

Certificate Program Overview

The Culinary Certificate Program (CCP) introduces you to the art and science of cooking and provides a solid foundation in savory cooking and baking. Upon graduation, you will be prepared for entry-level employment such as prep cook, line cook, or garde manger, but you may also find success as a personal chef or food writer. Upon satisfactory completion of the Culinary Certificate Program, you will have the option of transferring directly into the Professional Chef’s Program to further refine your culinary knowledge and skillset.

  • Complete over 300 hours of culinary training and education in just 16 weeks
  • Scheduling flexibility in selecting two (eight-hour) days of laboratory instruction and three hours of seminar instruction weekly
  • Intimate, hands-on laboratories working with instructors in a 12 to 1 student to instructor ratio
  • Graded coursework includes lab performance, quizzes, seminar exams and projects, events, final practicum, portfolio, and final written exam
  • Event credits may be fulfilled through teaching assistantships, offsite event support, and additional culinary opportunities as presented
sous chef training

Culinary Lab Classes

Our lab classes will put you in the middle of the action, working side by side with your instructors and classmates in one of our commercial kitchens.

Food Basics
Learn the fundamentals of working with eggs, sauces, vegetables, grains, meat, poultry, and seafood that will help you succeed in a professional kitchen. Our instructors emphasize food safety and sanitation, product identification, and palate development during this extensive course. Practice classic and advanced techniques of preparation and cooking, focusing on the theory, methods, and critical evaluation of each. With your peers, you will complete meals drawn from a variety of international sources, preparing, presenting, and evaluating them as a group.

Baking
Acquire a thorough foundation in baking by delving into the ingredients, tools, and techniques utilized in developing sweet and savory pastry and desserts. This course emphasizes the chemical function of ingredients and scalability of items for commercial baking. Learn to make and identify classic and laminated doughs, yeast doughs, cakes, fillings, chocolate, and meringues. Practice traditional and modern techniques of preparation and decoration, working with cakes and individually plated desserts that will be presented and evaluated with your peers.

pro chef courses

Culinary Seminars

Join your peers for weekly seminars designed to round out your education and complement the skills you develop in lab.

Become adept in the foodservice safety standards set forth by the National Restaurant Association. You will study food and restaurant safety, significant foodborne illnesses, and food safety management. After three weeks of study, you will take the official examination, and upon passing, will receive a 5-year ServSafe® certification

Examine the business aspect of the food industry and acquire a working knowledge of purchasing, cost control, menu planning, recipe development, and marketing a food establishment. Consider legal aspects of opening and running a business and practice skills related to time, stress, and personnel management. During this multi-week seminar, you will apply these guidelines and design a food service concept to present to your instructor and classmates for review.

Learn the rich history of chocolate production from Mayan temples to Parisian chocolate shops. Discover the different types of cacao and the flavor notes that depict regional origins. After learning the process of chocolate production, enjoy a tasting flight of various chocolates from around the world, analyzing the differences in taste, texture, color, and aroma.

A poorly written recipe can harm your reputation as a chef, a restaurateur, or an author. To ensure that your recipes are as clear and concise as possible, you will identify instances of ambiguity in recipes and common errors of organization, and discuss ways to fix them. Learn how to write a recipe that provides the reader with all the tools for success.

Gain intensive hands-on experience in the fundamentals of butchering meat, fish, and poultry, including the glove method of deboning chicken, filleting flat and round fish, and fabrication of a suckling pig. Learn about boxed meat industry, artisan art of butchering, proper handling and storing of raw meat and fish, and best tools and practices.

Consider a multitude of plate shapes and techniques for artful presentation of your completed dishes. Emphasis will be on balance, flow, focal point, and unity of interesting colors, sizes, and visual texture and interest. Discuss elements of visual edibility, height, and white space. Practice grouping elements for cohesive plating, using sauces to tie together plated elements, and incorporating functional and non-functional garnishes.

executive chef

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

An Invaluable Experience

“CSCA gave me a classical foundation preparing me for all the challenges I’ve faced. Encompassing an intensive training in traditional Italian cooking, French Cuisine, and Modern Technique has been key.”
– Chef Marcos Sanchez, PCP 2005,