The culinary arts bring together people, food, and creativity to delight not only the palate but all the senses. Few professions offer the kind of excitement and growth found in the world of culinary arts. Restaurants, hotels, clubs, resorts, convention centers, retirement homes, hospitals, and entertainment facilities all offer career opportunities for the culinary professional.
In today’s busy world, people eat out or purchase prepared foods much more frequently than in years past, reflected in the remarkable growth of the food service industry. And with that growth, expectations about the quality, nutrition, and diversity of the food, along with the accompanying service, continue to rise. The industry must be prepared to respond by creating and producing the best tasting, most imaginative product possible.
Students in the culinary arts program learn classical principles of cooking along with modern techniques and trends. International cuisines are introduced throughout the program. Students learn both theory and practical applications, in professional kitchens and through internships. The culminating class in culinary arts is the à la carte class, in which students prepare all courses for a “dining lab” open to the public. All culinary classes are taught by professional, industry-experienced chefs in a hands-on setting that allows the students to learn the best practices directly from accomplished chefs.
The curriculum emphasizes an understanding of world cuisines. Guest lectures and visiting chef demonstrations are a regular part of classroom presentations. At The Art Institute of Atlanta and The Art Institute of Washington, the associate in arts degree in culinary arts is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFFAC). Normally the product of several years experience in the industry, the designation of Certified Culinarian (CC) or Certified Pastry Culinarian (CPC) is granted as appropriate to culinary arts graduates of these two institutions immediately upon graduation, in addition to a paid one-year junior membership in the American Culinary Federation. In Atlanta, the bachelor of science degree in culinary arts management is also accredited by ACFFAC.
With my new skills, I can be...
Assistant pastry chef
Assistant purchasing manager
Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts
In the associate program, students begin with basic culinary principles and skills, as well as kitchen and dining room operations. Their studies also include fundamental business skills such as cost control and supervising foodservice personnel. Upon graduation, they are prepared to seek entry-level positions such as line cook, prep cook, first cook, baking trainee, and catering assistant in restaurants, luxury resorts, and contract foodservice companies.