The Art Institute of Houston offers a four-quarter diploma program wherein students are intensely trained for entry-level career opportunities related to the culinary arts. The mission of the Culinary Arts program is to provide an environment for students to become learners who possess the skills, knowledge, creativity and ethical values necessary in the rapidly changing, culturally diverse culinary, restaurant and catering professions.
Overall the intent of the program is to have experienced industry professionals impart their knowledge and technical acumen to the students. The approach to education relies heavily on actually participating in projects that are practical and technical in scope. All classroom activity relies heavily on a philosophy of total and personal immersion into the subject. The student is exposed to the business aspects of culinary arts, along with intensive, practical, hands-on training.
The primary focus of this curriculum is to become knowledgeable in the culinary arts with the potential to progress along a successful career path. The technical studies in this program are supported by the life skills the student will be exposed to in the liberal arts and sciences program courses.
What You’ll Study
Culinary students come to The Art Institute from different levels of experience but all share the same thing — a passion for cooking. The Art Institute of Houston’s Culinary Arts program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission. The ACF is the oldest chef organization in the United States dating back to 1929. Our college’s culinary program is one of only 114 culinary schools in the country to receive this honor. In the diploma program, students learn traditional, fundamental cooking skills, followed by labs in American Regional Cuisine, Baking & Pastry, and Garde Manger. In addition, safety and sanitation, purchasing and cost control, supervision skills, and dining room operations are covered. For the associate’s degree, students have additional labs in International Cuisines, Art Culinaire with advanced cooking and presentation skills, and the À la Carte Kitchen, where they run the dining lab called “Courses.” In both programs students work an internship in a quality food service operation to gain practical experience and learn the realities of the food service industry. The associate’s program culminates with a Capstone project, which is a complete business plan to open a restaurant that seats at least 100 guests.