CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School (800) 794-2320 Click for menu.

CASA Schools for Culinary Apprenticeship

Gourmet Chef

Vision and a firm grasp of the techniques required to achieve that vision, step-by-step.

Gourmet ChefThe CASA curriculum is specifically designed to build strong, relevant skills and knowledge of the culinary arts that go beyond mere fabrication and recipes.  Prior to beginning their apprenticeships, students meet with their mentors to discuss their career goals and previous experience.  Whether that’s no more than a keen interest in the craft, years of cooking or previous attendance at other culinary institutions, our structured, comprehensive curriculum makes it possible for the mentor to adjust lessons to suit the student’s unique skills, experience level and goals.   Our program is mentor-apprenticeship based, meaning students train one-on-one and receive direct instruction from their mentor, a well-respected chef in a reputable restaurant.  Carefully planned lessons and reading materials are created by a master chef and designed to help build a solid foundation in the culinary arts.  Subjects and skillsets are introduced in the reading, then developed hands-on within the professional kitchen environment, under the guidance of the mentor chef.   As an apprentice, you encounter skills, techniques and practices in a way that makes sense and empowers and inspires you to learn more.  The approach is holistic, enabling you to become comfortable with operating within the professional sphere while you learn dynamically, through direct instruction, getting the valuable feedback of a chef who works with you one-on-one.   Our real-world, mentor-apprentice approach to quality instruction is the bedrock of our success.  Every time you train, you’re interacting with your mentor and other professionals who are making their living in the industry.  You’re showing your passion, drive and abilities to the very same people who can help you get ahead.  Most jobs in the culinary arts are filled via word of mouth and so many positions never even get posted online.  CASA gets you in the door, which is exactly where you want to be to build your connections and launch your career.   Learn from within the truly unique environment of a professional kitchen as an apprentice to a chef.  Lesson days and times are flexible and up to the discretion of the mentor and apprentice.  This makes it possible for even working professionals to get their start in the exciting, fast-paced world of professional cooking.  Below is an overview of what you can expect to learn in our program.  Check it out!  

Week 0: ServSafe® Certification

DAY ONE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: online
  • ServSafe® Food Handler Course
  • ServSafe® Food Handler Certification Exam (certification is included in tuition)
CASA

DAY TWO / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Restaurant
  • Welcome to the restaurant
  • Discuss career goals and culinary interests with chef mentor
 

ASSIGNMENT: Successful completion of online ServSafe® certification exam

 

Week 1: Introduction to the Profession

DAY THREE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Restaurant
  • Intro to Culinary Operations
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • POS system, observe hot line, learn to cook two menu items
CASA

DAY FOUR / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen
  • Watch and perform with sous chef
  • Tour walk-in fridge
  • Learn kitchen receiving procedures
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 1: Introduction to the Profession

 

Week 2: Menu and Recipes

DAY FIVE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen
  • Know your Product – product quality
  • Train to cook two menu items
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Menu writing philosophy & techniques, building comprehensive, cost-efficient recipes
CASA

DAY SIX / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen
  • Work designated station solo
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 2: MENU AND RECIPES

 

Week 3: Equipment Identification

DAY SEVEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen
  • Equipment identification, safety, care and maintenance
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Guidelines for sharpening knives on stone using honing steel
CASA

DAY EIGHT / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Scullery
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or chief steward
  • Set up pot sink
  • Observe/assist ware-washing during service
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 3: EQUIPMENT IDENTIFICATION

 

Week 4: Meat, Poultry and Game Identification

DAY NINE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Butcher Shop
  • Basic Butchery
  • Selecting right cut and cooking method
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Break down a chicken (fabricate)
  • Cut steaks from sub-primal cuts
  • Correct portioning
CASA

DAY TEN / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Butcher Shop
  • Watch and perform with butcher or sous chef
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 4: Meat, Poultry and Game Identification

 

Week 5: Fish and Shellfish Identification

DAY ELEVEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Fish Station
  • Watch and perform with poissonnier, fish monger or sous chef
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Filet a fish, shuck an oyster, adherence to fish freshness guidelines
CASA

DAY TWELVE / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Fish Station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or fish monger
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 5: Fish and Shellfish Identification

 

Week 6: Dairy and Egg Purchasing and Identification

DAY THIRTEEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Restaurant Front of House
  • Front of House (FOH) Food Service
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Dining service standards
  • Observe/assist large-party service/bussing
CASA

DAY FOURTEEN / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Restaurant FOH
  • Watch and perform with service manager or lead server
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 6: Dairy and Egg Purchasing and Identification

 

Week 7: Dry Goods Identification

DAY FIFTEEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen & Dining Room
  • Food service – learn expediting and order flow
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Review order calling and front-back communication.
CASA

DAY SIXTEEN / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen & Dining Room
  • Watch and perform with dining room manager & expeditor
  • Assist in expediting service
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 7: DRY GOODS IDENTIFICATION

 

Week 8: Introduction to Stocks, Sauces and Soups

DAY SEVENTEEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen
  • Mise en place for Stocks, Sauces and Soups
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Prepare mirepoix, make a roux, chicken consommé, thicken with a liaison
CASA

DAY EIGHTEEN / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or saucier
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 8: Introduction to Stocks, Sauces and Soups

 

Week 9: Sauces

DAY NINETEEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, sauce station
  • Advanced Sauce Making
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Emulsified sauces – make hollandaise and beurre blanc, shallow poaching, chicken picatta, veal blanquette
CASA

DAY TWENTY / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, sauce station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or saucier
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 9: SAUCES

 

Week 10: Introduction to Cooking Methods

DAY TWENTY-ONE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: on-the-job training in a real restaurant
  • Mise en place for meats, poultry and fish
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Preparing stuffings, marinades
  • Pounding and stuffing meats
  • Standard breading procedure
  • Chicken roulade
  • Dry rubs, wet marinades
  • Forcemeats
  • Learn 3 recipes
CASA

DAY TWENTY-TWO / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen hot line or meat station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or chef tournant
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 10: Introduction to Cooking Methods

 

Week 11: Grilling, Boiling, Roasting, and Baking

DAY TWENTY-THREE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen
  • Dry-heat cooking methods
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Smoke fish or meat
  • Roast chicken with pan gravy
  • Learn seasoning for grilling
  • Prepare two grill recipes
CASA

DAY TWENTY-FOUR / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: kitchen meat or fish station
  • Watch and perform with grillardin, rôtisseur, or sous chef
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 11: Grilling, Boiling, Roasting, and Baking

 

Week 12: SAUTÉING, Pan Frying, Griddling, and Deep Frying

DAY TWENTY-FIVE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: on-the-job training in a real restaurant
  • Cooking with Fat
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Tempura
  • Beer-batter calamari
  • Vegetables or shrimp
CASA

DAY TWENTY-SIX / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen fry station
  • Watch and perform with friturier or sous chef
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 12: SAUTÉING, Pan Frying, Griddling, and Deep Frying

 

Week 13: Steaming and Submersion Cooking

DAY THIRTY-SEVEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen
  • Moist Heat Cooking Methods – steaming and poaching
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Fish en papillote
  • Blanching/shocking
  • Deep poaching
  • Steaming vegetables
CASA

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, fish station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or poissonier
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 13: Steaming and Submersion Cooking

 

Week 14: Introduction to Baking and Yeast Breads

DAY TWENTY-NINE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen/Bakery
  • BASIC BAKING PRINCIPLES
  • EXPLANATION OF GLUTEN DEVELOPMENT THROUGH FLOUR AND WATER ILLUSTRATION
  • SURVEY OF FUNCTIONS OF VARIOUS INGREDIENTS IN BAKED ITEMS, AND DISCUSS FUNCTIONS AND USES WITH YOUR MENTOR CHEF
CASA

DAY THIRTY / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen/Bakery
  • Perform the making of a lean dough under the direction of mentor or sous chef
  • Watch and perform with MENTOR CHEF
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 14: Introduction to Baking and Yeast Breads

 

Week 15: Vegetables and Fresh Herbs

DAY THIRTY-ONE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Field Trip
  • Tour of farmers market
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Tour farmers market with chef
  • Complete two herb pesto recipes
CASA

DAY THIRTY-TWO / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen vegetable station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or entremetier
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 15: Vegetables and Fresh Herbs

 

Week 16: Cooking Vegetables

DAY THIRTY-THREE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, vegetable station
  • Cooking Vegetables – sous vide, steaming, roasting, blanching and sautéing vegetables
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Cooking vegetables under pressure
  • Making vegetable timbales
CASA

DAY THIRTY-FOUR / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, vegetable station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or entremetier
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 16: COOKING VEGETABLES

 

Week 17: Cooking Potatoes

DAY THIRTY-FIVE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Vegetable station
  • Cooking Potatoes
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Pommes frites
  • Dauphinoise
  • Pommes anna
  • Pommes duchesse
CASA

DAY THIRTY-SIX / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Vegetable station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or entremetier
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 17: COOKING POTATOES

 

Week 18: Cooking Grains and Legumes

DAY THIRTY-SEVEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Vegetable station
  • Grains and Legumes
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Cooking grains and legumes
  • Complete two recipes
CASA

DAY THIRTY-EIGHT / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Vegetable station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef, legumier or entremetier
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 18: COOKING GRAINS AND LEGUMES

 

Week 19: Cooking Pasta and Dumplings

DAY THIRTY-NINE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Vegetable station
  • Cooking Pastas and Dumplings
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Making pasta from scratch – tortellini, spätzle, gnocchi
CASA

DAY FORTY / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Kitchen, Vegetable station
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or entremetier
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 19: COOKING PASTA AND DUMPLINGS

 

Week 20: Cooking Eggs

DAY FORTY-ONE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Breakfast Kitchen
  • Cooking Eggs
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • The perfect French omelet
  • Two quiche recipes
  • Poached eggs
CASA

DAY FORTY-TWO / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Breakfast Kitchen
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or breakfast chef
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 20: COOKING EGGS

 

Week 21: Charcuterie and Garde Manger

DAY FORTY-THREE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Pantry Kitchen
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • PROPER CARE, PREPARATION, AND PRESENTATION OF CHARCUTERIE AND FORCEMEATS.
CASA

DAY FORTY-FOUR / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Pantry Kitchen
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or garde manger chef
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 21: Charcuterie and Garde Manger

 

Week 22: Salad Dressings, Salads, and Sandwiches

DAY FORTY-FIVE / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Pantry Kitchen
  • Salad dressing and Salads
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • PROPER CARE, PREPARATION, AND PRESENTATION OF SALADS, DRESSINGS, AND SANDWICHES.
CASA

DAY FORTY-SIX / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Pantry Kitchen
  • Watch and perform with sous chef or garde manger chef
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 22: Salad Dressings, Salads, and Sandwiches

 

Week 23: Hors D’Oeuvres and Appetizers

DAY FORTY-SEVEN / 8-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Pantry Kitchen or Garde Manger Kitchen
  • Canapés, Hors d’oeuvres and Tea Sandwiches
  • Mentor one-on-one
  • Buffet setup styles, four canapés, four hot hors d’oeuvres
CASA

DAY FORTY-EIGHT / 4-HOUR CLASS

  • Location: Pantry Kitchen or Garde Manger Kitchen
  • Both classes will include shadowing sous chef, banquet chef or garde manger chef
 

ASSIGNMENT
LESSON 23: HORS D’OEUVRES, SANDWICHES AND APPETIZERS

   

Coursework is delivered via distance education and completed at a location determined by the student.  Externship apprenticeship locations may be up to 60 miles away from the student’s address.  The externship/apprenticeship mentor will work with each student on structuring a specific schedule.  The student agrees that he/she/they will be available to meet with the mentor for a minimum of two sessions per week.

     
Speciality Lessons included in our Gourmet Chef Course

Pastry Chef
Artisan Baking
Restaurateur   

Learn More

Learn in the best restaurants, not in classrooms.

* These fields are required.