Are you ready to take your culinary creations to the next level? If you answered yes, then our Culinary Arts program could be your next step towards a successful career.
Take your passion for food to a new level as you learn hands-on from professional cooks in our commercial-style kitchens. In our culinary program, you can:
- Learn how to blend new and traditional preparation techniques
- Discover cooking methods to create a variety of international cuisine
- Receive training in preparation, cooking and menu management.
Our Diploma program is designed to prepare you for a career in restaurants and kitchens by combining classroom and practice sessions in our kitchens with an externship at a local area restaurant and/or commercial eatery for real-world experience.
With small class sizes that provide individual attention to each student, convenient class schedules, industry-experienced instructors, and career services to help you secure a new job, Platt College is ready to help you gain the skills needed to start a new career in Culinary Arts.
Training to Become a Cook
Our Culinary Arts program can prepare you for an entry-level job in food service operations including hotels, resorts, restaurants, caterers, hospitals and more. Some of the types of classes that you can expect to take include:
- Introduction to Kitchen Skills
- Food Safety
- Introduction to Baking and Pastry
- International Cuisine
- Menu Planning
During your classroom lessons, you can learn how to use and care for cooking equipment used in the cooking industry. Some of the equipment you may handle include:
- Industrial ovens and stoves
- Pots and pans
- Various kitchen utensils
Towards the end of your Culinary Arts program, you will complete an externship in an actual restaurant or kitchen working with the staff – giving you the opportunity to gain experience and use the skills you learned during your Culinary Arts training and development.
Our Culinary Arts program is not only designed to give you the skills to prepare you to enter the food service job market, but also assist you in marketing yourself for the right career opportunity through the assistance of our Career Services team.
What Does a Cook Do?
A cook’s job is more than just sharing the cooking skills they learned with the world. They are responsible for overseeing the preparation of entrees at their place of employment, direct the kitchen staff and handle any issues that are related to the food that is being prepared. They also verify the quality and freshness of their ingredients, plan menus as well as inspect supplies, equipment and work areas for cleanliness while monitoring sanitation practices, maintaining inventory and following kitchen safety standards.
As a cook, your typical duties can be broken into three categories – preparation duties, cooking duties and menu management.
- Clean and sanitize all work areas, dishes, utensils, and equipment before and after use
- Weigh and measure the ingredients that will be used
- Clean and prepare fruit, vegetables, meats, seafood, and poultry for cooking
- Prepare salads
- Store food properly to prevent spoilage while monitoring the temperature of food and storage areas
- Ensure prepared food trays remain warm for service
Preparation duties may seem routine, but they are an important part of a smooth running kitchen. Other duties could include keeping salad bars and buffets stocked and clean, preparing beverages for customers such as specialty coffees, help keep the kitchen well stocked, and equipment in good shape.
- Ensure food and other ingredients are fresh for use
- Follow recipes to prepare dishes
- Prepare meat, seafood, poultry, and vegetables using various cooking methods
- Present food in a pleasing manner through arranging and garnishing dishes
- Keep work areas, equipment, dishes, and cooking utensils clean
Quite often you will work under the guidance of a head cook or food service manager when preparing food. You could find yourself assigned to a specific station in the kitchen during a shift, responsible for preparing and cooking certain foods or dishes.
- Track the menu item mix every week to understand what customers like most
- Observe food trends in the industry to appeal to a wider customer base
- Understand how to set up your menu for best results
- Help plan the layout of the kitchen to maximize service
Menu management also covers understanding food costs, facility design, and demographic research in order to make your restaurant successful. When combined, all of the culinary skills you learn can lead you to a rewarding career in the foodservice industry.
While no formal education is required to become a cook, most successful cooks combine a Culinary Arts program with real-world experience in order to obtain their position. As a student, part of the coursework includes working at one of our student-operated fine dining restaurants followed by an externship at a local restaurant to gain industry experience.
Is a Cook a Good Career For Me?
How do you know if a career in Culinary Arts is good for you? Here are some things to consider:
- You love food and are creative in the kitchen on a daily basis
- You enjoy being the leader of a group and share in the excitement of a busy service
- You enjoy having your skills being in demand
- You love to make people happy with your food
- You are very good at organization and planning
- You enjoy being busy all the time
If this sounds like you, then training in Culinary Arts is a good career choice.
How Much Money Do Cooks Make?
According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, Cooks, Line Cooks, and Prep Cooks currently earn a median salary of $25,200 per year or $12.12 per hour. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.91, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $17.73*. Wages vary based on the position, and restaurant or kitchen setting.
The Platt College Culinary Arts program prepares you for an entry-level position. Additionally, you might be eligible for a variety of benefits, such as vacation or sick time, flexible working hours, insurance, and a stable work/life balance. Each restaurant or kitchen is different so it is a good idea to weigh all your options when presented with a position so that you accept an offer in a setting you will be successful in.
Cook Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the career outlook for cooks to grow 6% from 2016 and 2026*, which is average for all occupations.
Your cooking skills may be in high demand especially since consumers are looking for healthier meals that have been made from scratch with quality ingredients. Food service establishments are looking for experienced Cooks to oversee food preparation which means the potential for better positions and salaries is available. A diploma in Culinary Arts can give you the foundation you need to have the career you want, where you want it.
Where Can a Cook Work?
With a diploma in Culinary Arts, you have the ability to work anywhere in the country and even around the world. Most Cooks work under a head cook when they first start out. You can find work in:
- Restaurants and other dining establishments
- Specialty food service, such as a schools
- Hospitals and other long-term care facilities
- Hotels and resorts
- Recreational venues
- Private households
- Other commercial food service establishments
- Self Employment
Oklahoma Culinary Arts Program Locations at Platt College
Are you ready to enroll in our Oklahoma Culinary Arts program? You can find classes at:
Get Started Today!
Turn your passion for helping people into a career with our Culinary Arts program. Our small classes, industry-experienced instructors, and externships make it easy for you to gain the skills you need to be successful in this growing field. To get started, call us at 877-392-6616 or request information to speak with an Admissions Representative, who can answer your questions about our Culinary Arts Program.
Programs vary by location.
High school diploma, GED or equivalent required.
See school catalog for specific programmatic admissions requirements.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Cooks,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/cooks.htm