"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar, and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

 

 

 

 

 

Begin the journey to fulfilling your dreams of becoming a chef! 

Download an Application for Admission NOW!

Wine Appreciation

Beginning with the proper way to taste wine, this course is designed to introduce the student to basic wine knowledge and appreciation by thorough sensory evaluation of varietals from around the world.  Viniculture, viticulture and the effects of food on wine are covered.  According to California State Law, all students under the age of 21 are strictly prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages.  At times during instruction, when wine is used as an educational tool, this restriction shall not affect the student grade.

Student Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Understanding of the origins and history of wine grapes and winemaking.
  • How food impacts the flavor and character of wine.
  • A clear understanding of the specific flavors and aromas typical of Californian and French varietals.

 

Butchery

This segment of the culinary program is an in depth study  of techniques employed for butchering  shellfish, fish, poultry, pork, beef, and lamb.  Safe handling, anatomy, purchasing,  butcher and primal cuts are covered during hands-on labs.  In a rare learning opportunity our students participate in breaking down a hind quarter grass fed beef, organic whole lamb and a whole hog.  Each student fabricates their own chickens, rabbit, quail, round fish, flat fish, crab and lobster.

Student Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

  • Sustainable farming practices.
  • Safe handling and storage of product.
  • Practical understanding of shellfish, fish, poultry, pork, beef, and lamb anatomy in a culinary context. 
  • How to breakdown flatfish, round fish, crustaceans, shellfish, and mollusks
  • How to breakdown quail, chicken, duck and rabbit
  • How to breakdown a quarter hind of grass fed beef, a whole lamb and hog
  • Trussing, restaurant cuts, and manufacture off-cuts.
  • Advanced cooking techniques, including smoking, and fabrication for fine dining.

Charcuterie

Taught by a visiting Master Chef, the students learn to prepare items specific to charcuterie. The long honored art of charcuterie and its application in a modern kitchen will be explored as students are introduced to the techniques required for the safe handling, processing and fabrication of pates, terrines, sausages, mousselines, smoked meats, smoked fish and accoutrements. Garnishing techniques and proper buffet set up are covered as the class culminates in a lunch buffet for colleagues, friends and family featuring the week’s preparations. 

Student Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Safe handling and storage of product.
  • The steps of progressive grinding.
  • Making of force meats and mousselines
  • Dry, wet and injection curing, brining, cold and hot smoking.
  • The preparation of terrines, pâtés, torchons, sausages, aspic, chaud-froid, pâté en croûte, smoked fish and meats.
  • Slicing, plating, mirror work, garnitures and accoutrements, center pieces, and buffet set up.
  • Nutrition

    This course is designed to give students a thorough understanding and knowledge of the fundamentals of Nutrition. Students are introduced to vegetarian and health related diets and develop an understanding of the importance of menu development to accommodate this growing population.   Unique health oriented ingredients and culinary techniques are introduced.  Daily assignments with strict dietary criteria are given for the student to research an ingredient and for its use in a fine dining “black box” dish. 

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

    • Fat composition, calories, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and supplements.
    • The composition and importance of a proper diet.
    • USDA and alternative food pyramids.
    • Differences in vegetarian and health related lifestyle diets.
    • The importance of organic, sustainable foods.
    • The practical application of cooking techniques used in various vegetarian cookery including raw.
    • Methods for lowering fat and caloric content in foods for fine dining preparations.
       

    Artisan Baking

    This artisan baking course focuses on the 12 steps of bread making, the role of key ingredients, bakers formula percentage and the origin of shaping and scoring.  Using bigas, sponges and starters the students produce quality artisan bread loaves and pastries.

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    • Understand the role of key ingredients.
    • Understand and calculate baker’s formula percentage.
    • Prepare dough by hand and machine using multiple formulas and methods.
    • Identify and understand the 12 steps of bread making.
    • Shape and bake quality artisan loaves.
    • Assess and identify quality issues.

    France

    In this 3 week intensive course, students gain a thorough understanding and knowledge of the fundamental culinary techniques and ingredients of classic French cuisine, including the use of foie gras and truffles. An introduction to French pastry work is included.  In depth lectures include social history, geography, and specialized regional ingredients all pertaining to the production of “cuisine classique”.  Advanced sauce work, knife skills and gueridon service are all included in this comprehensive course.

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

    • Regional French cuisine.
    • Classic advanced technique including soufflés, custards, braises, savory and sweet mousse.
    • Classic and modern preparations of foie gras and truffles.
    • Advanced plate presentation.
    • Advanced sauce work, knife skills and gueridon service (tableside flambé).
    • Laminated doughs, short pastries and choux paste.
       

    Food and Beverage Costing

    F&B cost control is the application of practical knowledge and skills used to understand restaurant volumes and pricing strategy.  Key components of this course are: menu planning, inventory, purchasing and receiving, food costing including yield, waste and family meal, beverage costing, bar control, and profit and loss statements in a fine dining food service establishment.

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    • Understand restaurant volumes.
    • Formulate pricing strategies.
    • Demonstrate effective practices for menu planning, inventory, purchasing and receiving.
    • Cost food including butchers yield, waste, and family meal.
    • Understand beverage pricing and bar cost control.
    • Understand profit and loss statements.
        

    Mediterranean

    This course offers students a thorough understanding and knowledge of the fundamental culinary techniques and ingredients of classic Mediterranean cuisines, ranging from Spain and Portugal, Italy, the Middle East and North Africa. While preparing tapas, mezze, ragu, hand-made pasta, tagines and flatbreads, students learn to translate classic techniques into modern plate presentations.  In depth lectures reveal the importance of how foods have been introduced throughout the Mediterranean via historical wars, religion, conquer and exploration.

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

    • Mediterranean Geography.
    • Flavor profiles, regional spices, unique ingredients and their culinary uses
    • Migration of foods throughout the Mediterranean via historical wars, religion, conquer and exploration.
    • Culinary terminology unique to each region.
    • The preparation of tapas, mezze, ragus, pastas, couscous, tagines, and flatbreads.
    • Advanced technique of translating classic flavors into modern interpretations.
       

    Asia

    During this course each student gains a thorough understanding and knowledge of the fundamental culinary techniques and ingredients of classic Asian cuisines, spanning from India to Japan. Practice of advanced techniques including pastry work, sauces and marinades, spice and curry pastes, and wok cooking are used in the interpretation of classic dishes into modern plate presentations.  In depth lectures include social history, geography, and specialized regional ingredients all pertaining to the individual regions.

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

    • Regional Asian cuisine.
    • The advanced techniques used in classic Asian cookery including sauces, marinades, spice pastes, curry pastes, and wok cooking.
    • The advanced skill of interpreting classic dishes into modern plate presentation.
       

    Advanced Pastry

    This course is designed to teach students the skills and techniques required for the production of laminated doughs, muffins and quick breads, advanced cakes, fillings, icing and decor.  Tempering chocolate, dipping, coating and the preparation of candies and confections are included.  The elements of composition and design are employed in the practice of artistic presentations for buffets and individual plating. 

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

    • Baking principals.
    • Tempering and working with chocolate using various modalities.
    • Preparation of classic sponge, cream and foam cakes and quick breads.
    • Mousses, buttercreams and meringues.
    • Basic cake decorating.
       

    Marketplace 

    (view photos)

    This course is designed to showcase the student’s work and offers an opportunity for them to participate in cooking demonstrations.  Utilizing products from our kitchen garden and flock of hens, students work together to prepare canned, preserved and baked goods, soups, stocks and sauces, candies and confections, and organic starter plants for sale at a large Market held on campus.  Cooking demonstrations and comparative tastings are provided by students giving potential employers and community members an opportunity to meet and greet our future chefs.

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

    • Large scale production of goods for market.
    • Using food and labor cost to calculate retail pricing.
    • Branding for retail.
    • Planning, timing and executing a cooking demonstration.

     

    Modern Culinary Techniques

    Understanding the importance of keeping up with modern culinary trends, this section has been developed to allow for the exploration and practical application of cooking methods outside of the realm of classic technique. Students are given the opportunity to explore and experience molecular gastronomy techniques such as sous-vide, spherification, hydro-colloids, foams, thickening and clarification .  Other advanced techniques include modern artisan charcuterie and cheese making as well as the fine art of food and wine pairing.

    Example areas of investigation:

    • How ingredients are changed by different preparations and cooking methods
    • How all the senses play their own roles in our appreciation of food and wine.
    • How cooking methods affect the eventual flavor and texture of food ingredients and wine paired with food.
    • How new cooking methods might produce improved results of texture and flavor of food.
    • How our enjoyment of food and wine are affected by our environment, mood, and how it is presented.
       

    American Regional Cuisine

    In this course we explore the indigenous foods of the main regions of the United States and parts of Mexico.  Understanding climate, cultural heritage and migration lead to an appreciation of the important and diverse ingredients used to prepare Creole and Cajun cuisine, the foods of Mexico, New England, the Northwest and Hawaii.

     

    Restaurant 2

    As a culmination of 9 months of intensive culinary training, students are required to design a seven course chef’s tasting menu including recipes, plate presentations, food costing, prep-sheets and order sheets.  Dishes are presented to the chefs for critique. Two final menus are chosen featuring local, sustainable products prepared exclusively by the students.  A rotating schedule is created giving each student an opportunity to experience real-time line cooking, serving, maitre d’ and sous chef responsibilities for a 60 guest daily lunch service.

    Student Learning Objectives:

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    • Develop a multiple course chef’s tasting menu.
    • Develop, write and cost recipes.
    • Draw and execute final plate presentations
    • Present tasting plates for critical evaluation.
    • Create a work schedule to execute their daily preparations.
    • Scale recipes to serve 60-80 people.

    Check out photo's, upcoming dates and reservation information for our Student Run Restaurant!

     

    Externship

    Once a student has successfully completed on-campus training, an externship is arranged at a qualified fine dining food service establishment of the student’s choice.  This is an opportunity for the students to acquire on the job training that will help with job placement and create important industry connections.  Students may chose to stay in Wine Country, extern in another state or travel abroad to further enhance their skills and experience.  Our staff works closely with students to secure their position and complete their externship requirements.  We have an unparalleled success rate in job placement for students who successfully complete their externship and graduate from the program.

     

    Begin the journey to fulfilling your dreams of becoming a chef! 

    Download an Application for Admission NOW!

     

    Photography by Culinary Images