CourseworkWhat you can expect from the program. Our courses cover everything from how to get food safety certified to learning the equipment to choosing, preparing, and cooking produce, poultry, meat, and more. While much of your coursework will be performed in the kitchen, there will be required reading, research, and other work away from the restaurant. You will also follow video/on-demand streaming tutorials. As you progress through the program, you will be expected to create or recreate what you’ve been learning and document your progress on provided templates. There will also be quizzes along with required reading in addition to off-site food preparation. With CASA, in-person learning in a professional kitchen or restaurant is coupled with demonstrations, video instruction, and more. On your own, you practice what you’ve learned. As you progress in your acquisition of skills and culinary knowledge, you phase into building industry experience under the direction of your mentor, a professional chef, at the externship location i.e., the kitchen and restaurant where you complete your externship. Your mentor and Academic Facilitator will work with you on structuring a specific schedule, including instructor-led weekly instruction. You will be required to complete ServSafe training and certification before entering the program. And while CASA will work with you and your schedule (we understand “Life” happens), you will be expected to make in-person learning a priority. At the start, you will familiarize yourself with the different stations of a kitchen, including the walk-in refrigerator, and other equipment, as well as how to receive incoming goods. You’ll learn how to develop menus, recipes, and identify product quality. This includes meat, seafood, produce, dairy, dry goods, and more. The CASA Gourmet Chef Program will then move into soups, sauces, and stocks and start working with different cooking methods. You will begin to know when to grill and when to boil, when to roast and when to steam as well as understand how dry rubs, wet marinades, and other preparations impact the final result. You will also learn about preparing cold foods, charcuterie plates, hors d’oeuvres, salads, sandwiches, and more. During this five to six-month program, you will be able to create menus, design meals, and work all areas of a kitchen. And you’ll do it in a fully immersive environment, working with professionals at each station.
Private Culinary Bootcamp: Practical ApplicationA real restaurant or other commercial culinary facility will serve as your resource to execute various practical assignments. After viewing demonstrations from your mentor live and in person (or via remote, your choice) you will get your hands dirty and start cooking, from prep work to hands on instruction to final presentation. This is YOU in a real restaurant cooking and learning privately for 25 hours of in person learning over 12 weeks.
Lab Hours in Your Home: More Practical Application and Practice, Practice, Practice.Alongside the above instruction in the PRO KITCHEN, you will be practicing and researching, cooking and cooking some more at home! After viewing demonstrations from your mentor, you will recreate prep work, recipe instructions, and final presentation. Documentation of these assignments (a templated blog post) will be submitted electronically to your Academic Facilitator a the school.
Externship HoursOnce you’ve finished all your private learning in the restaurant and all of your coursework at home, you’re ready for the big time! We will schedule and you will spend several hours a week in a working PRO kitchen in a real restaurant with your mentor, gaining real-world experience, cooking, observing, preparing and ordering, more cooking, etc. This is the hands-on experience part that we are so well known for. Depending on your success, you may be offered opportunities to fulfill additional responsibilities separate from your coursework. This is the stage where many of our students are offered paid work and their lives are changed forever. By finishing up your studies as an extern in a real world restaurant and because we keep you out of career-crushing student debt, we guarantee you a front row seat to hiring opportunities without saddling you with life altering lifelong debt obligations. And remember, the EXTERNSHIP HOURS are offered only after you have finished Culinary Boot Camp (see above) and only after you have fulfilled completion of all your coursework and homework, including cooking the aforementioned 79 recipes (see above). By the time you get to the Externship stage, you will have acquired the experience you need to make the most out of your externship. And yes, we guarantee placement inside a real restaurant at this stage of your learning experience.
Program ScheduleThe CASA Gourmet Chef Program consists of 20 courses, culminating in an immersive, 100-hour externship with your mentor in their kitchen or restaurant. Each course requires on- and off-site instructor-led learning, self-learning via on-demand videos, lab times, and more.
Graduation and Launching Your Career in CulinaryAt the end of the CASA Gourmet Chef Program, you’ll have gained exposure to how a professional kitchen or restaurant operates, from bringing in the ingredients in the morning to closing duties at night including: the different workstations, how to identify different cuts of meat, how to select the freshest produce, and the different ways of preparing products. During this time you’ll also be cultivating something else: Opportunities. As you work your way around the kitchen, you’ll be learning alongside others already making a living in the culinary industry. Show them your passion, determination, and responsibility when jobs open up, your name could be the one they remember. This isn’t just about learning about the career you want. It’s about making the connections within the industry that can help you find your first job. The culinary world can be a tight-knit community at times, and when potential employers ask about you, how do you want to be remembered? If you work hard enough, you may just work yourself into a career.
If you’re interested in any of the following careers in culinary, please contact our Admissions Department:
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. *based on comparison of CASA tuition costs vs. top ten associate degree-awarding culinary private schools. Source: Prepscholar.com Best Culinary Schools