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What types of courses do chefs take?

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Quick Answer

Chefs take culinary arts courses such as safe food handling, menu development, cooking and food science. Chefs specializing in baking and pastry arts take courses in bread baking, cake making and cake decoration. Hospitality and restaurant management courses are also part of a culinary school's curriculum. Chefs may choose to get an associate or bachelor's degree or a certificate.

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Students in the two-year program at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, start with courses in culinary math, nutrition, gastronomy and product knowledge. The second semester brings courses on banquet cooking, meat and seafood, management, and college writing. The summer externship is a practicum where students work on preparation, organization and speed in a commercial food service or hospitality setting. Second-year courses include courses on different cuisines and cultures, catering, wines and modern restaurant cooking.

The four-year bachelor's degree programs at the Culinary Institute of America, as of 2105, offer the choices of culinary science, culinary management, baking and pastry arts management, and applied food studies. Typical liberal arts courses such as literature and composition, statistics, and history are part of the curriculum. Culinary science students take courses in the microbiology of food, ingredient functionality, heat transfer and the physical properties of food. The management programs include standard business management courses such as financial accounting and human resources, more specific courses such as marketing and promoting food, and food service management.

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