Certificate Pastry Program

Earn the title of “Chef” in just 16 Weeks.  Yes, really.

Certificate Pastry Program

Learn the practical and theoretical techniques of pastry arts from working with dough to plating restaurant quality desserts during this concentrated 16-week program.


The Certificate Pastry Program (CPP) teaches you core classic pastry techniques, theory, and applications of creating, decorating, and serving professional pastries and breads. Upon graduation, you will be prepared for entry-level employment as a pastry assistant or production baker, but you may also find success on your own. Upon satisfactory completion of the Certificate Pastry Program, you will have the option of transferring directly into the Professional Pastry Program to finesse your skills in creative pastry expression with advanced techniques.

  • Complete over 300 hours of pastry arts 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

The Certificate Pastry Program lab classes focus on the foundations of pastry arts. Through these hands-on, immersive classes, gain critical knowledge and skills as you work in tandem with our instructors.

Fundamentals of Pastry Arts
Study the theory and principles of French techniques used in making traditional pastries, including presentation, plating, and adaptation. Develop a strong understanding of the chemical function of ingredients and scalability of items for commercial baking, and explore the ingredients, tools, and techniques utilized in classic European desserts and pastries. Learn to make and identify choux, Viennoiserie, fillings, meringues, sauces, and cakes. Create intricate and delicious desserts that you will present and evaluate as a group.

Join your peers from the Culinary Certificate Program during weekly seminars designed to round out your education and complement the skills you develop in lab. Seminars include:

Food Safety
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.

Food Management
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.

Fruits, Herbs, and Spices
Explore the flavors, common applications, and origins of the most unique fruits, herbs, and spices from across the globe. Develop a sound knowledge of cooking and working with fruits composed of different enzymes and varying pectin levels. Following an intensive overview and discussion, try your hand at developing a dessert recipe containing several of these newly discovered ingredients.

Recipe Writing
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.

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.