Research Schools

Cooking Associates Degrees

Culinary Arts Degree Categories

Associate's Degree in Cooking

Would you like to work as a pastry chef, invent the next amazing cuisine, or simply impress your family and friends with extraordinary culinary skills? Gourmet chefs create recipes, display an intense desire to cook, and direct the preparation of meals. They often prepare everything from hors d'oeuvres to complete ten-course meals. Many chefs obtain praise and fame due to the high quality and distinctive nature of the food they serve. Such professionals exhibit creativity while preparing gourmet food for restaurants, casinos, resorts, hotels, cruise ships, bakeries, and catering companies. Others are a bit more adventurous and turn their hobbies into lucrative careers by starting culinary businesses of their own or providing contract services to private parties. Become the cook you always wanted to become.

Individuals obtaining a diploma or associates degrees in gourmet cooking learn the practical skills needed for work in the culinary arts field. Gourmet cooking education provides professionals broad hands-on training, practical experiences, and comprehensive information necessary for success in the demanding foodservice industry. A gourmet cooking diploma program trains students on how to prepare different types of meals and desserts for restaurants, social events, and private dinner parties and how to prepare specialty meals for large events. They learn how to keep food warm for extended times, properly train employees, and create appetizing and delicious dishes. Students also learn the fundamentals of food and beverage management, as they are often responsible for estimating food requirements and ordering supplies. Students studying gourmet cooking often choose an area of specialty such as French, Italian, Indian, or vegetarian cuisine, or pastry preparation.

cooking schools

Professionals enrolled in gourmet cooking associate degree programs take classes related to food preparation and presentation. Students generally take courses in the fundamentals of cooking, baking, food preparation, food science, banquets and catering, plate and buffet presentation, and contemporary and international cuisine. Additional courses include nutrition, proper handling and selecting of foods, menu development, special event banquet planning, scheduling, and table and food service. Students also study soups, sauces, salads, appetizers, pastas, pastries, and desserts.

Other covered topics encompass recipe selection, ingredient storage, tools and equipment, staffing, and client surveys. These programs commonly provide students with hundreds of recipes for actual food preparation practice. Gourmet cooking students also learn how to start, build, and manage relevant businesses through coursework in catering styles, kitchen building, controlling food costs, business management, and finance. Most programs also provide students with valuable communication, problem-solving, organizational, interpersonal, and managerial skills.

The foodservice industry is growing rapidly and ranks among the nation's top employers as families and individuals seek the convenience of prepared meals. The demand for gourmet cooking graduates will rise in order to meet the needs of increasing populations, dual-income families, and dining sophistication. Acquiring broad culinary skills, sometimes within only a six-month program, enables graduates to find ample career opportunities. Students who acquire formal culinary training within a gourmet cooking associates degree program demonstrate to potential employers their motivation, maturity, and can seek fine dining employment options.


Farm Fresh Cooking

During your training you’ll learn truly about the farm-to-table movement and how foods are grown, harvested and stored locally. You’ll learn about what it means to shop for seasonal foods and locally and the impact importing foods have on our environment. Many of the schools even have tips you’ll take to local farms to get a first-hand account of how a small farm operates.

Local farmers enjoy the ability to sell directly to the end consumer vs. selling in bulk at a much smaller profit margin. Farmers markets have always been around and cooking chefs are utilizing these markets more and more to provide farm fresh products for their restaurant. You’ll be trained also in organic foods and food preparation.