Culinary Arts Program
The Culinary Arts program is taught in a modern, fully equipped, restaurant style kitchen as required by the American Culinary Federation for certification. Students plan, prepare, and cater meals alongside professional chefs in both the classroom, compete at various competitions throughout the year, and participate in exclusive mentorship and shadowing programs with some of our region’s most recognized culinary leaders.
Prerequisites at the Time of Junior Year Enrollment
Minimum of 7 core credits and 12 total credits (1.5 must be English), on track to graduate.
Credits & Certifications Offered
High School Credit
- 3 CTE Year One
- 3 CTE Year Two
- St. Louis Community College - 10 credits
- Sullivan University - 3 credits
- Johnson & Wales University - 13.5 quarter hours
- Robert Morris University - 9 quarter hours
- Southwestern Illinois College - 8 credits
*College credit and certification are not guaranteed. Their attainment is dependent on student performance in both the course and on external industry assessments. All certifications are through external agencies and the accommodations permitted will vary from assessment to assessment. Additionally, students must participate in the full two years of the program to be potentially eligible for all certifications listed.
- American Culinary Federation Certification
- ServSafe Certification
How Will My Time Be Spent?
Program Year Classroom Time Lab Time CTE Year One 26%-50% 51%-75% CTE Year Two 25% or less 76% or more
Tech is Real World Learning
Students in this program learn through the use of a variety of industry grade tools and equipment and texts. Their real world labs also require uniforms and personal protective equipment.
Tools & Equipment
- Commercial kitchen appliances
- Will use a variety of knives independently
- A wide variety of cooking utensils
- Commercial kitchen cleaners and cleaning tools
- Scales and other measuring devices
- Will use a torch, fire and open flame often in cooking
- Professional Cooking, 7th ed.
- ServSafe Manager
- Culinary jacket, pants, hat, and apron
- Black, slip-resistant shoes
Essential Skills Needed for Success
Students learn the entry level skills necessary to prepare for post-secondary education and the highly competitive world of work. Traditionally, successful students have mastered the processing and/or physical skills listed below prior to enrollment.
Core Essential Skills
Take the initiative; perform tasks without having to be told; complete tasks in a timely manner
Adjust own actions in relation to others’ actions
Ability to advocate for oneself
Complete tasks in high stress situations and under pressure
Understand and use basic math computations; including percentages, fractions and standard units of measurement
Understand written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents (Technical reading); post secondary curriculum
Demonstrate manual dexterity, using both hands to grasp, manipulate and assemble; both fine and gross motor skills
Ability to stand while working for long periods of time
Demonstrate physical strength, being able to lift and move heavy objects
Tolerant of a culinary kitchen which includes hot and noisy environments as well as a variety of smells
For a complete list of essential skills please review the Course Overview Guide.
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Mr. Gerler earned his BSBA from the University of Missouri St. Louis in 1983. He began his food service career as a General Manager for Casa Gallardo for ten years, then with Cracker Barrel for 19+ years. After 30 years of dedication to the industry but requiring working every weekend and holiday, Mr. Gerler found a more family-friendly, but rewarding career in teaching.
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Prior to joining the North Tech team, Ms. Janiece Love owned her own catering business, “Catering With Love”. Ms. Love began working for Special School District in 1991 as a Teachers Assistant and was hired as the Culinary Arts Instructor in 2011.
Culinary Arts & Sophomore Exploration
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Mr. Toby Starns began his hospitality journey as a dishwasher at the age of 15 in a little mom and pop Greek diner. Mr. Starns continued to work in the industry until he graduated high school and joined the Air Force. After completing his enlistment, he came back to industry where he continued his education along with learning different aspects of the business and soon found myself with opportunities in both, front and back of the house management. Mr. Starns joined the North Tech team in 2010 with over 18 years of hospitality experience.