Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts equips students with the skills to pursue careers in the culinary field as a personal chef, caterer, executive chef, and food and beverage manager. Courses cover topics that range from kitchen safety and sanitation, history of the foodservices industry, careers, nutrition, recipe basics, proper kitchen tools and equipment, and kitchen staples to food presentation, advanced cooking principles, bakeshop preparation skills, professionalism, and business opportunities.1 Students may gain job experience while still in high school through local and Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) competitions and work-based learning.
The New York Times in June 2012, the Tennessean in January 2016, and the Food and Wine online journal exclaim that Tennessee’s new stage is in the kitchen. The praise goes to the farmers and chefs who are choosing to work together to provide fresh local ingredients for farm-to-table and food fusion experiences to customers.2 A few areas in Tennessee that are booming with excitement for culinary satisfaction are Chattanooga, Memphis, and Nashville: The Gulch, East Nashville, Midtown, Germantown, and the Food Truck industry. Restaurateurs are continuing to move into Tennessee.
 
According to Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development data, the outlook for this occupation group is very good, occupations are expected to be in demand with employers, and the growth rate is positive. There are more job openings annually than there are training completers.
 
An important fact to point out is that counties with the lowest number of potential candidates were mostly urban and suburban counties in Tennessee. To attain a job opening in Tennessee, applicants need to be open and willing to move to become a potential candidate for jobs in the culinary arts occupation group.
 
• Faster than the average occupation growth nationally, employment for chefs and head cooks are expected to grow seven percent from 2014 to 2024. A greater demand for high-quality dishes at a variety of dining venues will stem from population and income growth and consumers favoring healthier meals and faster service. These trends will contribute to new establishments and more chefs and head cooks needed to support he consumer’s wants. Job opportunities are best for potential candidates with several years of experience. Competition and the highest paying jobs will be at upscale restaurants and hotels.
 
• Employment for food service managers is projected to grow 5.6 percent from 2014 to 2024. Population and income growth are expected to grow resulting in a demand for more dining establishments. These establishments will require food service managers to oversee food preparation and service. Job opportunities are best for those who have several years of experience. Seen in the
2014 geographic profiles, Tennessee was ranked fourth for the highest employment level and ranked first for the highest concentration of jobs in this occupation.
 
• Food preparation workers employment is projected to grow 4.9 percent from 2014 to 2024. Population and income growth for consumers are expected to increase the demand for this occupation in dining establishments, grocery stores, nursing and residential care facilities. Competition will be strong but job opportunities should be very good because of the need to replace workers.
Upon completion of this program of study, students will have applied a full range of knowledge and skills in culinary arts and built a professional portfolio in preparation for future training at the postsecondary level.
 
Culinary Arts IV is the capstone course in the Culinary Arts program of study intended to prepare students for careers such as personal chef, caterer, executive chef, and food and beverage manager. Course content covers the components of commercial kitchen safety and sanitation, food presentation, bakeshop preparation skills, sustainability practices, professionalism, and business opportunities. Upon completion of this course, proficient students will have applied the full range of knowledge and skills acquired in this program of study toward the planning and catering of an event approved by the instructor.
 
Teachers are encouraged to use embedded work-based learning activities such as informational interviewing, job shadowing, and career mentoring.