Culinary Arts Classes Available Online
Online classes and courses for training in the culinary arts are not as common as they are in those subjects like accounting or history that are better suited to solitary online learning.
Students who are interested in learning more about the theory behind cooking and related culinary subjects would, however, get a lot of value from the courses that are available online.
If they are serious about pursuing a career in the culinary field, however, they would also need to undergo practical training at a culinary institute.
Overview of Types of Online Culinary Classes
There are several types of online culinary classes, certificates and degrees offered by various different universities, colleges and career schools.
Here are some prominent examples in each category:
- the Vocational Training Certificates in catering and gourmet cooking offered by Penn Foster Career School, which is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council and the International Association for Continuing Education and Training. Penn Foster is available to provide further information on any of their certificates and can be contacted at 14300 N Northsight Boulevard, Suite 111, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (tel: 1-800-275-4410 and website: http://www.pennfostercollege.edu/index.html);
- the e-Video Series offered by Delmar Cengage Learning where each online video gives an overview of the responsibilities of several different positions in the culinary arts industries and what students can expect if they practice in these areas. Delmar Cengage Learning can be contacted at P O Box 6904, Florence, KY 41022 (tel: 1-800-354-9706 and website: http://www.cengage.com/delmar/);
- the Bachelor in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management as offered by The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, from which further information can be obtained should they be contacted at 420 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (website: http://ai.cookingschools.com/artinstitutes/);
- the Career Diploma in Gourmet Cooking and Catering as offered by Ashworth College, which was formed through the merger of three schools: the Professional Career Development Institute, Ashworth College itself and James Madison High School. Ashworth College is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council and prospective students can request further information at 430 Technology Parkway, Norcross, GA 30092 (tel: 1-800-957-5412 and website: http://www.ashworthcollege.edu/); and
- the Associate of Science in Culinary Arts as offered by Virginia College, which is accredited by The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Further information concerning this associate degree can be obtained from Virginia College at their Online Programs Department at either 400 Chase Park South, Birmingham, AL 35244 or 10401 Highland Manor Drive, Tampa, FL 33610 (tel: 888-827-7770 and website: http://www.vconline.edu/).
Individual Class Summaries
Gourmet Cooking Certificate: Penn Foster Career School
Upon completion of this certificate program, students will be qualified to prepare above average gourmet meals with poultry and game, fish and shellfish as well as many different types of meat. Fruit, vegetables, stocks, soups and sauces are also all covered in this short but innovative course and the school provides students with textbooks, DVDs and study guides to facilitate distance learning of gourmet food preparation techniques. The certificate program is divided into 8 different course concentrations, which each consist of several lessons and cooking labs:
- Stocks, Sauces and Soups including The Gourmet Kitchen (lesson) and Seared Beef (cooking lab);
- Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs including Cooking Methods (lesson) and Stir-Fried Beans (cooking lab);
- Meat including Beef and Veal (lesson) and Rack of Lamb (cooking lab);
- Poultry and Game including The Basics of Poultry (lesson) and Stuffed Chicken Breast (cooking lab);
- Fish and Shellfish including Cooking Methods (lesson) and Striped Sea Bass (cooking lab);
- Grains, Legumes and Pasta including How to Cook Legumes (lesson) and Sesame Shitake Noodles (cooking lab);
- Baking and Pastry including How to Make Pastry (lesson) and Phyllo Pear Tart (cooking lab); and
- Breakfast, Garde Manger and World Cuisines including International World Cuisines (lesson) and Preparation of an Entire Meal (cooking lab).
Caterer Certificate: Penn Foster Career School
This certificate program concentrates on teaching a student the practical aspects of working as a caterer and includes tuition in areas like catering food styles, basic baking, preparation of meat, fish and poultry and how to function in a gourmet kitchen. The course consists of 10 instruction sets and each set is only sent to a student after they have demonstrated their proficiency in the preceding set. These ten sets consist of:
- Learning Strategies and Introduction to Catering;
- Dynamics of Catering, Food Styles of Catering and Alcoholic Beverages;
- The Gourmet Kitchen and The Culinary Professional;
- Stocks, Sauces and Soups as well as Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs;
- Poultry and Game;
- Fish and Shellfish;
- Grains, Legumes and Pasta;
- Baking and Pastry; and
- Breakfast, Garde Manger and World Cuisines.
As can be seen, there is a degree of overlap between the Caterer certificate and the Gourmet Cooking certificate so it's up to the student to choose exactly which concentration he or she would like to take along with the basic courses.
Delmar Cengage Learning e-video
Delmar Cengage Learning online video series includes the following titles:
- Job Responsibilities of a Food Preparer;
- Job Responsibilities of a Cook;
- Training and Opportunities in a Bakery;
- Catering Assistant Training and Career Development; and
- Opportunities in the Food Service Industry.
Bachelor in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
This 100% online degree program concentrates on both the theory and practical aspects of culinary management as courses impart the basics of both cooking skills and day-to-day operational management of a restaurant's dining room, kitchen and staff members. Students graduating from this course have been prepared to find employment in such positions as beverage manager, prep cook, assistant food service manager and line cook and their skills base would include management skills, baking, cooking and communications.
Career Diploma in Gourmet Cooking and Catering: Ashworth College
This diploma helps prepare students for such challenging careers as special events coordinators, restaurant catering managers and institutional food service managers. Here, students are provided with textbooks, study guides and supplements as their basic course materials and are also offered full-time online support and tutorial assistance. Broad course objectives include how to choose recipes to develop menus for all types of functions, provide table service and prepare and store food. The diploma program consists of 20 comprehensive lessons comprising lesson summaries, detailed lesson plans, tests and examinations and lesson specific recipes. These lessons include:
- Fruits, Sandwiches, Canapes and Hors d'oeuvres (covering preserved fruits, exotics, melons, sushi, stone fruits and spreads);
- Tricks and Tips: Stocks and Sauces (covering rouxs, nage, glaze, thickening agents, salsas and gravies);
- Kitchen Staples and Dairy Products (covering soy sauce, tea, coffee, pickles, margarine and relishes ;
- Banquet Management and Booking (covering staffing, planning rooms and audio-visual equipment);
- The Basics of Gourmet Cooking (covering point and nouvelle cuisine, sanitation and chefs and restaurants in history);
- Beef, Veal, Lamb and Pork (covering butchering, grilling, basting, roasting, broiling and barbecuing);
- Soups and Meat Cookery (covering meat grades, chowders, soup garnishing, bisques, consommes and puree);
- Getting Started in Catering (covering business plans, apprenticeships, contracts, insurance and hiring staff);
- Pies, Cookies and Cakes (covering meringues, chiffons, creams, crusts, eclairs and decorating and storing cakes); and
- The Banquet Function Sheet (covering alcoholic beverage plans, seating the guests and event planning).
Associate of Science in Culinary Arts: Virginia College
This associate degree is 100% online but is only available to those students who already hold a practical culinary qualification at a post-secondary level. As is typical with an associate level degree, the qualification offers a grounding in the broad principles that are applicable to its specific field. Upon graduation, students will be expected to have acquired the following, and other, specific skills:
- be able to perform math functions specific to culinary and food service operations;
- be able to apply nutritional knowledge to food production and menu planning for a variety of people with a variety of differing needs;
- be able to define and work with procedures and concepts for inventory, storage, purchasing and receiving foodstuffs; and
- be able to set up and maintain extremely high standards of industrial and personal safety and sanitation.
The courses that comprise this degree program are divided between foundation courses, concentration courses and general education courses and include the following:
- Career Exploration and Planning (foundation course);
- Customer Service (foundation course);
- Facilities Management and Menu Planning (concentration course);
- Purchasing from the Cultural Perspective (concentration course);
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (general education course); and
- Mathematics (general education course).
Although there are not many online culinary arts and cooking programs and classes, there are some and the ones that are available show a great deal of diversity in terms of both course level and course content. As acquiring proficiency in the various culinary arts does require a lot of practical training, distance learning may not be the best option for this field but a possible solution to this dilemma would be to combine both online and on-campus learning.
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