The course curriculum taught in culinary school may vary from program to program, but generally students study a range of topics covering basic and advanced kitchen skills, cooking theory, health and nutrition, and the business aspects of running a restaurant.
Here are some of the basic culinary courses taken in cooking school.
Nutrition Science – Nutrition is the science of the nutrients the body needs to survive, and which nutrients are provuided by what foods. In a culinary program, nutrition courses cover concepts such as how to prepare a nutritionally balanced meal, which ingredients provide the most nutritional value, and cooking with special dietary needs in mind.
Knife Skills – This practical, hands-on subject teaches students proper knifing techniques used in commercial kitchens. Students learn how to chop, slice, pare and use other knife techniques quickly, efficiently and safely.
Vegetables & Fruits – Fruit and vegetable courses teach the proper methods for identifying, washing, preparing and storing commonly used vegetables and fruits in a kitchen environment. Students learn which flafors go best with which meals, and which types of cuisine make use of which fruits and vegetables.
Meat Preparation & Serving – These courses cover the basics of identifying, carving, preparing and storing meats. Students may learn about the various cuts of meat, as well as seasonings, flavors and safety associated with cooking and preparing meat.
Soups & Sauces – Sauces and soups can be one of the most challenging areas of the culinary arts. Students of soup and sauce courses learn the proper ways of preparing flavorful sauces and soups, including which ingredients to use, as well as proper storage and presentation.
Baking & Desserts – Baking and dessert courses instruct students on preparing pastries, tarts, cookies, pies and other dough-based foods. Baking times, temperatures and baking ingredients are covered in these courses.
International Cuisine – Students in these courses learn about foods from other cultures, including Asian, Middle Eastern, African, European and other popular cuisines. Staple herbs, spices and other ingredients are discussed and incorporated.
Hors D’oeuvres/Appetizers – Hors d’oeuvre classes teach students how to prepare small appetisers and other small dishes, including preparation, presentation and menu selection.
Beverages – Beverage courses may cover subjects such as wine selection, alcoholic drink creation, and the preparation of non-alcoholic beverages such as teas and juices.
Restaurant Operations – Some cooking classes offer more business-oriented subjects such as Restaurant Operations, which instructs head chefs on the business of running a commercial kitchen. These courses may cover topics ranging from menu selection and overall cuisine direction to accounting practices, purchasing and kitchen staffing.
Catering – These courses discuss cooking for remote consumers, covering food preparation and transportation as well as serving area setup, breakdown and presentation. Some catering courses may cover catering services as a business.
Internship / Externship – Most commercial and professional culinary courses include a culinary externship or internship, where students work in a professional kitchen setting under the direction of certified chefs. More information about culinary internships can be found on the Culinary Internships page.
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