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Estimated Completion Time

18 weeks

This course has minimal opportunities to practice the skills and concepts discussed. If you are looking for an applied culinary class, please see Culinary 2, for which culinary 1 is not a pre-requisite.


Thinking of a career in the foodservice industry or looking to develop your culinary skills? This introductory course will provide you with basic cooking and knife skills while preparing you for entry into the culinary world. Discover the history of food culture, food service, and global cuisines while learning about food science principles and preservation. Finally, prepare for your future by building the professional, communication, leadership, and teamwork skills that are crucial to a career in the culinary arts.

During this course, you will learn career-related skills and earn a badge for this accomplishment. A badge is a digital certification of your career-related learning that you can share on social media and higher education platforms, or with colleges, potential employers, peers, and colleagues. Select this link to learn more about badges.

Major Topics and Concepts

Unit 1: The Safe Kitchen
Discuss the dos and don’ts of basic cooking
Describe standard procedures for chemical hazard control
Explain the importance of safety procedures in the workplace
Identify and use proper first aid procedures for kitchen-related accidents and injuries

Unit 2: Knife Skills
Discuss the importance of proper knife safety
Explain and demonstrate basic knife techniques
Identify and explain the four key knives in a professional kitchen
Describe various cutting methods and the role they play in food preparation

Unit 3: Food Safety
Apply sanitation standards to the kitchen environment
Identify the key elements of foodborne illnesses and how to prevent them
Explain the process and importance of waste management in the food industry
Describe the inventory process and how it affects food preparation and safety

Unit 4: Cuisine and Culture
Explain food science and how it affects the culinary world
Identify various cooking methods and how they affect food
Describe different cuisines and their relationship to culture and history
Differentiate between proteins and other food groups

Unit 5: Garde Manger: The Cold Kitchen
Explain the history and significance of the garde manger
Describe the types of dishes prepared in the cold kitchen
Identify proper preservation methods, both new and old
Detail the basic equipment in the garde manger

Unit 6: The Principles of Food
Describe a standardized recipe and its significance to the food industry
Perform cost analysis on an original recipe
Explain the application of weights and measures in a food service setting
Discuss the principles of food preparation

Unit 7: Professionalism
Discuss the history of food service and some of its contributing figures
Describe the various roles of the kitchen hierarchy
Define professionalism and its key tenets
Explain the importance of oral and written communication in the workplace

Unit 8: Leadership, Teamwork, and Ethics
Describe effective leadership in the workplace
Explain the role of teamwork in the kitchen
Discuss the importance of team diversity
Identify and exhibit professional work ethics

Credits .5

Competency Group Overview

Meets art graduation requirement.


  • Safety and Kitchen Tools
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of kitchen tools and safety by explaining basic cooking techniques, food handling and preparation, cleanliness, kitchen safety, and first aid.
  • Culinary History
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the history of the culinary field by exploring cooking methods throughout the ages, modern food science, cultures’ role in cuisines, and the history and role of the Garde Manger.
  • Budgeting
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of budgeting in the culinary field by examining standardization of recipes, cost analysis, weights and measure, and the principles of food preparation.
  • Culinar Profession
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the culinary profession by investigating the history of the food service, roles within the kitchen, and various forms of leadership.



Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.