The curriculum for a culinary student typically includes courses in food sanitation and safety, basic knife skills and equipment operation, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A good culinary arts program also includes hands-on practical field experience, notes FSR magazine in their list of America’s Top 20 Culinary Schools.
The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), one of FSR’s Top 20 schools, offers a detailed summary of their culinary arts curriculum online as of 2015. They offer a diploma program made up of 13 courses and an off-site externship. The curriculum includes education in culinary fundamentals, sauce preparation, cooking methods, international cuisine and baking essentials, in addition to many other topics. ICE offers a total of 1,700 specialty cooking classes per year, including electives and courses in wine education.
The curriculum of the associate degree program in culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America in New York (another Top 20 school) is also available on the school’s website as of 2015. Courses include culinary math, nutrition, meat and seafood identification, menu development and an introduction to gastronomy. Students also take courses in communication, finance and management. This 21-month program requires a 15-week externship during which students gain practical experience at one of 1,200-plus food industry employers.