Career Programs

The Culinary Certificate Program – Class Descriptions

Laboratory Class Descriptions

Lab classes meet twice a week. Each class is approximately 8 hours.

The first half of the program encompasses Food Basics and Baking in which the rudiments of classical training are taught. Students begin by learning to identify and properly use equipment including their chef knives and implements. Then through a carefully designed progression of classes, students gain the practical and theoretical knowledge that readies them for the second half of the program: an in-depth study of classical French cuisine, and the authentic regional cuisine of Italy and France. American regional cooking and Asian cuisine culminate in an expression of today’s Fusion cooking, and all together provide the stepping stones to a wide variety of jobs in the foodservice sector.

Food Basics

Through a series of carefully crafted classes, students thoroughly examine the fundamentals and theory of cooking with eggs, stocks, sauces, vegetables, meats, fish, shellfish, and pasta. Students learn both simple and sophisticated techniques, critical evaluation of each stage of preparation, temperature-sensitive steps, chemical properties of ingredients, theory, methods and other practical information. Complete meals drawn from a variety of international recipes are prepared, presented, consumed and evaluated.


In this series of classes, the foundations of baking are taught through an intensive study of the theory and principles of preparing dough, pastry cream, custards, sauces, meringues, cakes, tortes, phyllo, strudel, chocolate, and buttercreams. Emphasis is placed on the most modern methods of preparation, understanding the chemical functions of ingredients, perfecting specific and unique techniques, as well as decoration and presentation.

Evening Seminar Class Descriptions

Evening seminars are held once a week for approximately 3 hours.

The subject matter for evening seminars encompasses a wide variety of industry-related topics.

Knife Skills

A critical component of the curriculum, this course emphasizes the proper handling, care and use of professional chef knives. Students are instructed in the proper methods of slicing, chopping, dicing and mincing. Garnishes such as tomato rosettes and radish flowers are also taught.

Food Safety

Using the food safety standards established by the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association, students learn the principles of food safety and the methods used to establish a total food safety program within a foodservice operation. Particular attention is paid to understanding the HACCP food safety management program. Students passing the certification exam, administered at the end of the course, are presented with an Applied Foodservice Sanitation Certificate, recognized throughout the U.S.

Food Management

Traditional culinary occupations, career progression, and management skills are discussed. Students also study purchasing, cost control, projections, menu planning, recipe development and general skills relating to stress, time, and personnel management. Legal aspects of opening a business are addressed by guest lecturers (lawyers) and include such issues as incorporating, partnership, trademarks, and registering the business name. The development of a business pro forma is a requirement.


In this three-week course, students are exposed to diverse aspects of the meat industry, including grading services; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's role in approving and monitoring the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides; meat physiology, aging, flavor, and tenderness; branded programs; and purchasing/vendor relationships. Students will learn to break down chicken, lamb, beef, and pork and learn to filet round and flat fish.

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The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

2020 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140-2104
(617) 354-2020
(617) 576-1963 fax

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