6 month program

CASA Schools for Culinary Apprenticeship – Gourmet Chef

Fire Up Your Culinary Career with our Gourmet Chef Program

We give students exclusive 1-on-1 education with amazing, successful chefs in their area. Students learn directly in the restaurant and get educated by their mentor.

Our students learn the ins and outs of the restaurant business along the way. Students practice on-site with their mentor and remotely from their home kitchen. This is an immersive and intense six-month program that not only trains students to take on the culinary world but also connects them to an industry that can be difficult to get into without valuable connections.

Why learn in an overpriced culinary school when you can learn in an actual professional kitchen as an extern?

Being a gourmet chef is about so much more than following a recipe. For you, food is a creative endeavor in which, ultimately, the only rule is there are no rules. Tastes, aromas, and presentations all come together to grab the senses and give others an experience they’ll never forget.

The CASA Gourmet Chef Program is designed to place you in a completely immersive environment where you’ll learn side-by-side with a pro chef in his or her restaurant.


Learn key kitchen positions, understand the Brigade System, and define core culinary principles.

Learn the three main menu types, understand “standardized recipes,” and measure ingredients.

Identify/describe a variety of knives and other tools and their uses as well as types of refrigeration.

Learn the five Mother Sauces, prepare stocks, and identify soup ingredients. Critique menus from existing restaurants.

Identify frying techniques for different foods and understand the differences between roasting, baking, and sauteing.

Name and define fresh herbs and standard vegetable cuts and understand their importance.

Define several techniques for cooking vegetables, as well as seasoning and flavoring combinations.

Learn the FIFO principle when working with dry goods and identifying different dry pastas.

Learn the three basic kinds of potatoes, how water and starch content affects each during cooking, and choose the best for baking.

Understand how the USDA grades their beef and how technologies have improved the overall quality of the product.

Learn how new innovations have helped the poultry business and how to properly prepare chicken for a meal.

Understand how alternatives are required for those with dietary restrictions and how to prepare those alternate foods for diners.

Identify flatfish, round fish, and shellfish. Prepare an entree and appetizer containing fish.

Identify differences between dried and fresh pasta. Describe ten different kinds of pasta, and how eggs affect pasta overall.

Learn general guidelines for purchasing and storage, how to identify different omelets, and in-shell cooking.

Learn Garde Manger operation, how to tell the difference between the four kinds of forcemeat, and preparation.

Identify and prepare elements of a sandwich. Discuss different cultures and their sandwich-style foods.

Learn the basic differences and similarities between appetizers and hors-d’oeuvres and how functional garnishes complement the flavor.

Gain an understanding of basic food safety principles, as measured by the ServSafe Food Handler assessment.

Put everything you’ve learned during previous courses to work. Identify workstations, prepare dishes, and evaluate a busy lunch or dinner at an externship restaurant.

Taste the CASA difference

We have taken the very best of the 200-year-old Apprenticeship Model and upgraded it for the 21St Century to keep you out of insurmountable debt and get you educated and employed in 6 months! You no longer need to get into debt and spend 2 years learning how to be a Pro Chef. Here is how we do it, and here is how we are different:

The Gourmet Chef Program is delivered in 6 Modules. No overcrowded classrooms, no confusing semesters, no tired old instructors, and no competing for attention.

  • 25 hours of private instruction with a pro chef
  • 40 hours of home study
  • Cook 135 recipes
  • 100 hours of externship in a real restaurant
  • One year of job placement assistance



  • Learn how to be a Pro Chef by learning privately, 1 on 1
  • 25 hours of private instruction using the CASA curriculum
  • Taught in a commercial kitchen, just you and a CASA Pro Chef
  • Part Time, Full Time, Nights and Weekends Available

Home Study

  • As your progress through Module #1, learn at home simultaneously with our Proprietary Video Series
  • Cook up to 135 original recipes
  • Learn from James Beard Nominated Chefs and Legends of Culinary and Pro Educators
  • Interact with our Curriculum Portal Online from any device

Academic facilitator

  • Interact at any time with your second Mentor, a Pro Chef, remotely
  • Set an appointment and get tutoring, homework help, tasting notes.
  • Career Advice, Career Coaching Support


  • After Modules 1-3 are completed, learn in a real restaurant
  • 100 hours of on the job training, cooking for customers
  • Learn from your 3rd Mentor, a Pro Chef and/or Restaurant Owner
  • Audition for a real job as you learn as an Apprentice


  • Pitch your best restaurant idea or Culinary Related Business Idea to Investors
  • Think Shark Tank for Culinary
  • Train to pitch your best idea for your dream culinary idea and then pitch it!

Job placement

  • If you haven’t been offered a job in the kitchen you trained at in Module #4, get one year of REAL job Placement from our Career Development Counselors.
  • We will send you out on real culinary job opportunities

Your culinary professional dreams become reality with our comprehensive program.

Private Learning
Cook 135 Recipes
Job Placement



learn from 3 mentors - a private chef in a commercial kitchen, an academic facilitator remotely, and a mentor at an externship in a real restaurant.


Learn privately from home and cook over 135 recipes and while studying our CASA culinary videos.


Learn in a real restaurant guaranteed and then get one year of job placement.


Learn One on One and Privately from a PRO CHEF. We call this Culinary Bootcamp. 25 hours of private one-on-one instruction.


While you are working with a PRO, study at home and create culinary creations from our family of Pro Chefs.


You Graduate in 6 Months (24-Weeks) for 1/4 of the price* of traditional culinary programs.


All this in 6 months and for 75% less tuition costs than most all other Culinary Schools.

With CASA, you learn one-on-one in a real kitchen. We will give you private lessons while the restaurant is closed or slow. As you learn privately, you will be studying and cooking at home too.

After you complete all your recipes (134 of them to be exact) and once you complete all your private lessons with the pro chef, we will place you in a real restaurant anywhere in the U.S. to finish your studies as an extern in the real world.

Start your culinary journey and become the chef you’ve dreamed of!

You will be mentored by an expert chef and gain real-world experience in an actual kitchen. Professional chefs have never been in such high demand and our job placement is unmatched in the industry.

Get Started

All this for well under what most culinary schools charge in tuition we are committed to keeping you out of insurmountable debt.

Finance your education through Climb. Quick approval with no impact on your credit score.

Entering the culinary arts world loaded down in debt can seriously thwart your future success. CASA’s curriculum-backed, on-the-job training is time-efficient and cost-efficient.

Get your culinary education started today.

Learn More


The Chef Apprentice School of the Arts offers you the rare opportunity to learn straight from the professionals who make a great living working in the culinary arts. We place you right in the heat of the action where you’re learning directly from highly respected chefs who, thanks to the immersive nature of this program, can teach you more in minutes than you might learn after spending months in a conventional classroom setting. CASA is all about getting you right where you need to be to learn in a proactive, hands-on manner while building the experience and connections that help you launch your career.

Culinary school tuition can range from $30,000 to as high as $100,000. That’s a lot of money, especially when you consider students in these programs receive no real work experience, nor do they have the opportunity of connecting with the professionals who are actively working in the industry right now. Many driven, well-intentioned individuals attend expensive culinary schools under the belief that they are on their way to gaining the access and experience they need to build their futures. Instead, these schools can limit an individual’s chances at succeeding because they make it impossible for people strapped with student debt to afford those entry-level positions that might not pay well at first, but which can lead to the greatest career opportunities down the line.

Our apprenticeship/externship based program works in accord with the way the culinary world really operates, not against it. Contrary to what many people assume, advancement in the culinary arts is not based on degrees but on experience, skills and talent. Everyone starts at the bottom, even graduates from the CIA, ICC or a myriad of other programs. Getting bogged down in debt is not the smartest way to get your start.

At CASA, we pride ourselves on making tuition easy and all-inclusive.  There are no surprise fees or additional costs.  The only fees you may pay are those associated with financing your tuition.  All CASA’s training materials, lessons and even your chef’s uniform are included.  Even job placement assistance is included in the price of tuition. Included in the cost of tuition, you receive:

  • Direct consultation and advice from your mentor
  • In-person training and shadowing lessons via externship
  • CASA course curriculum book and study materials (if applicable)
  • Six-piece set of Mercer knives in a cook’s case (for Chef program)
  • Chef’s uniform with embroidered initials
  • Job placement assistance (for successful graduates)

Distance Education Technology Requirements:
All CASA applicants must have internet access and Microsoft Office to be able to participate in the program.

Culinary programs at community colleges commonly cost less than conventional culinary school programs but they are still expensive, costing $20,000 – $30,000 on average, and still leading many to incur huge student loans. They also have the same problems as other conventional programs, namely, no real-world experience, no in-industry connections and little to no direct training, oversight and coaching from a successful culinary arts professional who makes their living in the industry, not outside of it.

Obtaining private lessons directly from a seasoned chef, pastry chef or restaurateur would be a good way to receive effective training and direct guidance. Private training in the culinary arts is extremely rare and very costly. Such lessons can cost $30,000 – $50,000, and because they do not adhere to a structured curriculum or schedule, such a system of training can take years to complete. Furthermore, many of the professionals who tutor privately do so in their homes, not in the real-world environment where one stands to learn the most. With CASA’s direct, curriculum-backed, real-world approach, you get the benefits of direct training without the added cost.

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