In the previous post, we looked at two of the major types of diplomas and certificates available in the hospitality industry: hospitality management credentials and restaurant and food service certificates. In this post, we’ll explore some more popular areas of study at hospitality schools: culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and catering.
Culinary arts diplomas, certificates, and degrees
Food is one of our basic human needs, and people want to eat well! Even small restaurants and diners today are looking for staff who have some formal training in the kitchen, not only for the cooking skills these programs teach, but also for essential food planning and management skills.
Aspiring chefs can earn a diploma, certificate, or degree in an accredited culinary arts program. The foundations of these programs include basic kitchen and knife skills, safety and sanitation, stocks and sauces, cooking with various ingredients, advanced culinary techniques, and an introduction to baking and pastry. Students also learn essential skills for working in a restaurant, like how to work at different kitchen stations and how to plate a meal. Most culinary arts programs take between 12 and 18 months to complete, including a one- to three-month externship where students get experience working in a real restaurant kitchen. This externship is a great way to land your first job.
Baking and pastry arts diplomas, certificates, and degrees
Do you dream of creating the perfect croissant or perhaps of building a career designing and decorating wedding cakes? Although basic culinary arts programs include courses on baking and pastry, many restaurants and bakeries hire specialized pastry chefs, and students who wish to pursue these opportunities should consider a focused baking and pastry program instead. Courses in baking and pastry arts programs cover everything from techniques for making bread and pastries to decorative edible art. Like culinary arts programs, most baking and pastry programs take between 12 and 18 months to complete and include a short externship.
If you already have your culinary and baking skills down pat and you want to work in a food service environment that isn’t a restaurant, a certificate in catering might be the best option for you. Catering certificate programs usually focus on the management side of the business, rather than the culinary side. Students in these programs learn how to cost and prepare food for large numbers of people, how to manage catering staff, and information about general catering laws and trends. As with the culinary and baking programs, many catering certificate programs include some sort of externship or practicum.
So far, we’ve looked at some of the top management and creative programs offered in culinary schools. In the next post, we’ll look at a few of the other areas that fall under the hospitality umbrella.