Culinary Arts

a year ago

The Culinary Arts student who successfully completes four years of the program will, at a minimum, be able to skillfully prepare meals that are as pleasing to the palate as they are to the eye. The student will also have a strong knowledge of the science of food safetyand an understanding of diet and nutrition.

Graduates of our Culinary Arts program will graduate with the following skills and competencies:

  • The ability to demonstrate health and safety practices on all related equipment and materials specific to Culinary Arts

  • The ability to demonstrate proper food safety and sanitation

  • The ability to identify chemicals and uses in food service

  • The ability to apply the fundamentals of food service

  • The ability to demonstrate dining room operations

  • The ability to demonstrate utility services

  • The ability to explain basic nutrition

  • The ability to describe and demonstrate cooking method

  • The ability to prepare the following: grains, legumes, starches, stocks, sauces, and soups

  • The ability to prepare various types of meat, seafood, and poultry

  • The ability to prepare sandwiches, breakfast meats, eggs, cereals, and batter products

  • The ability to apply the fundamentals of Garde Manger, hors d’oeuvres, and appetizers

  • The ability to apply the fundamentals of baking

  • The ability to prepare desserts

Our graduates are not limited to entry-level positions in the Culinary Arts industry. Higher level positions are vast and vary in both the general industry as well as specialty areas within the industry. Graduates of our Culinary Arts program, who take post-graduate training and/or industry specialized training, might choose to specialize in one of the following examples of technical career areas:

  • Restauranter (would require the ability to define a dining concept, develop a business plan, identify a location, obtain financing, hire staff, and begin marketing)

  • Restaurant owner (would require the ability to supervise employees, direct operations, and identify ways to adapt to customers and industry trends)

  • Food production research engineer (would require the ability to design and develop systems for producing, processing, distributing, and storing food and agricultural materials along with an understanding of food safety and quality, biorefining, pharmaceuticals, and environmentally-friendly packaging)

  • Food scientist (would require the ability  to use chemistry, biology, and other sciences to analyze the nutritional content of food, discover new food sources, and research ways to make processed foods safe and healthy) 

  • Food technologist ( would require the ability to oversee all aspects of product development, including reviewing and approving nutritional data, writing product specifications and enforcing USDA labeling regulations on new and modified food products) 

  • Food Service Director (would require the ability to direct a total food service operation, including a knowledge of large quantity meal preparation, menu planning, purchasing, personnel and business management, federal, state, and local reporting requirements while being cognizant of current food industry trends to update the menu regularly and meet the guests’ demands)

  • Executive chef (would require the ability to oversee the operations of a kitchen, to design menus in line with the restaurant’s identity, to review food and beverage purchases to ensure a well-stocked pantry, to train and manage cooks and other kitchen staff)

  • Food production manager (would require the ability to work in a corporate or institutional environment, the ability to manage point of sale system and train staff on the system, the ability to create hazardous analysis critical control points (HCCAP) and programs for other food items in testing trials at the facility, the ability to organize and implement local and federal sanitation programs, and the ability to regulate facility expenses using an extensive database connected to a proprietary, network computer system)

  • Sous chef (would require the ability to work closely with an executive chef in supervising cooks, and preparing meals while also customizing healthy menus, maintaining quality checks for foods, monitoring food and equipment supplies, suggesting new specialties, assisting customers’ inquiries, and managing clients’ complaints)

  • Chef/head cook (would require the ability to oversee the daily operations of a kitchen including functioning as a liaison between the sous chef and the cooks while also  creating recipes, studying menus, and preparing significant-high-quality dishes that represent the restaurant)

  • Private corporate/household chef (would require interpersonal skills and the ability to work for a single client, such as a corporate executive, university president, or ambassador)

  • Corporate chef (would require the ability to work with large industry operations or food service vendors while promoting new product designs while also developing policies and procedures to enhance and measure quality)

  • Pastry chef (would require the ability to focus on desserts, deal with complex presentations, develop dessert menus, order supplies and ingredients, and recruit employees to aid in production and enterprise aspects)

  • Baker (would require the ability to use industrial baking equipment, follow a high-volume recipe, prepare doughs, batters, icings, and filling, and create consistent products while also functioning as a lead person in this area)

Graduates of our program have the opportunity to secure the following industry-recognized certifications:

  • OSHA 10-Hour Card and Certificate

  • ServSafe Food Handler Certification

  • ServSafe Manager Certification

  • Allergen Certificate

Following are the qualities and skills that are necessary for success in the field of Culinary Arts:

  • The ability to master management skills

  • The ability to multitask with dexterity and endurance

  • The ability to interact with other kitchen staff

  • The ability to handle ingredients and prepare food using industry-standard guidelines

  • The ability to handle a large variety of utensils and the techniques associated with their usage

  • The ability to interact with various types of customers

  • The ability to react to a variety of situations


The Culinary Arts Frameworks identify the competencies that students will have the opportunity to learn in a four-year time span. 

Articulation Agreements

State articulation agreements are a uniform and consistent way for students in our Culinary Arts program to enroll in any Massachusetts community college and be awarded credits for work completed at Chicopee Comprehensive High School. Our Culinary Arts program has additional local articulation agreements with Holyoke Community College and Keene State College, which recognize credits beyond the standard 3 credit state recognition.

These agreements allow for a seamless continuation of education for our students.