5 Common Courses in Culinary School

5 Valuable Culinary School Classes

  • Food Production Principles and Practices
  • Sustainable Food Service Operations
  • ServSafe: Sanitation and Production
  • Nutrition for the Hospitality Professional
  • Menu Development and Planning

When some people think of courses required for culinary school, the first thing that often comes to mind is a curriculum that includes a large variety of cooking and baking classes. But there are also several essential courses that are general in nature and very important when choosing to work in the food industry. Five of these courses and brief descriptions of each can be found in the sections that follow.

Related resource: Top 10 Best Culinary Schools in Pennsylvania

Food Production Principles and Practices

One course that is commonly found in culinary school programs is Food Production Principles and Practices. Before completing this important course, most schools require students to have completed a course known as Food Safety and Sanitation. Food Production Principles and Practices examines the principles associated with kitchen operations on the commercial level. Areas of study include organization of work, recipe use and conversions, safety and sanitation applications, basic cooking methods, and use and maintenance of kitchen tools and equipment.

Sustainable Food Service Operations

Another common course in a culinary school program is Sustainable Food Service Operations. In this course, students will learn the importance of maintaining a sustainable food service organization. Topics explored during the class include challenges and issues of maintaining sustainable food service operations, sourcing of products, seasonal and local menus, minimizing foodservice consumption and waste, performing a cost-benefit analysis, and identifying procedures that could negatively affect sustainability in food service.

ServSafe: Sanitation and Production

One of the most important courses in a culinary school program is ServSafe: Sanitation and Production. This course explores the basic standards of safe food handling and sanitation as set by the National Restaurant Association. Upon completion of this class and the ServSafe examination, students will receive credit towards their degree as well as ServSafe certification. Other topics discussed in this course include principles of commercial food production, principles of classical cuisine, using weights and measures, common knife cuts, and recipe conversions.

Nutrition for the Hospitality Professional

Nutrition for the Hospitality Professional is another course that is often included in culinary school programs. This course explores the foundations of human nutrition and focuses on the essential nutritional requirements of humans. During the class, students will also learn how the nutritional needs of people vary over the life span. Other topics examined in the course include nutrition for people with special dietary needs, dietary sources, physiology and nutrition, proper intake levels, major nutrients, biological determinants of nutrition, and nutrition assessment of populations.

Menu Development and Planning

Menu Development and Planning is also among the most common courses in culinary school programs. After completing this course, students will understand the best ways to plan menus and integrate them into commercial food service operations. Another important focus of the class is how the purchasing function is highly dependent on menu planning and development. Other topics included in the syllabus of this course are menu items and placement, creating appealing menu designs, food pricing, proper use of menu planning and design software, and the use of menus for marketing purposes.

Persons who wish to earn a culinary degree will need to complete a large variety of courses pertaining to cooking and baking. But there are also several common courses in culinary school programs that are general in nature, and five of the most important of these courses are described above.