Culinary Certificate Program

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Join your peers from the Certificate Pastry 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.

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.

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.