Culinary Arts (Grade 11)

by Alyssa Agin

This course covers skills in the areas of food services and hospitality. This is the concentration course in a Culinary Arts Program within a sequenced career pathway for Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism. Students will receive instruction and training in kitchen safety and sanitation, equipment and facility use, knife skills, food preparation to include: cold pantry, salads, soups and sauces, grains and pasta and an introductory baking. Career-seeking and transferable skills are incorporated in an employment portfolio. Students will receive their California Food Handler’s Card upon completion of this course.

Program Information
CTE Certification Elements
  • Cool, package, label, and freeze foods for later consumption and provide instructions for reheating.
  • Direct the operation and organization of kitchens and all food-related activities, including the presentation and serving of food.
  • Peel, wash, trim, and cook vegetables and meats, and bake breads and pastries.
  • Plan and prepare food for parties, holiday meals, luncheons, special functions, and other social events.
  • Shop for or order food and kitchen supplies and equipment.
  • Stock, organize, and clean kitchens and cooking utensils.
  • Check the quality of raw or cooked food products to ensure that standards are met.
  • Check the quantity and quality of received products.
  • Demonstrate new cooking techniques or equipment to staff.
  • Determine how food should be presented and create decorative food displays.
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, or work areas to ensure conformance to established standards.
  • Instruct cooks or other workers in the preparation, cooking, garnishing, or presentation of food.
  • Estimate ingredients and supplies required to prepare a recipe.
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas to ensure efficient service and conformance to standards.
  • Perform food preparation 
  • Specify food portions and courses, production and time sequences, and workstation and equipment arrangements.
  • Clean food preparation areas, cooking surfaces, and utensils.
  • Clean, stock, and restock workstations and display cases.
  • Maintain sanitation, health, and safety standards in work areas.
  • Measure ingredients required for specific food items being prepared.
  • Mix ingredients, such as pancake or waffle batters.
  • Operate large-volume cooking equipment, such as grills, deep-fat fryers, or griddles.
  • Pre-cook items, such as bacon, to prepare them for later use.
  • Prepare dough, following recipe.
  • Verify that prepared food meets requirements for quality and quantity.
  • Wash, cut, and prepare foods designated for cooking.
  • Bake breads, rolls, cakes, and pastries.
  • Ensure food is stored and cooked at correct temperature by regulating temperature of ovens, broilers, grills, and roasters.
  • Inspect and clean food preparation areas, such as equipment and work surfaces, or serving areas to ensure safe and sanitary food-handling practices.
  • Observe and test foods to determine if they have been cooked sufficiently, using methods such as tasting, smelling, or piercing them with utensils.
  • Wash, peel, cut, and seed fruits and vegetables to prepare them for consumption.
  • Weigh, measure, and mix ingredients according to recipes or personal judgment, using various kitchen utensils and equipment.
  • Clean and inspect galley equipment, kitchen appliances, and work areas to ensure cleanliness and functional operation.
  • Clean food preparation equipment, work areas, and counters or tables.
  • Perform food preparation tasks, such as making sandwiches, carving meats, making soups or salads, baking breads or desserts, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Perform general cleaning activities in kitchen and dining areas.
  • Plan work on orders so that items served together are finished at the same time.
  • Restock kitchen supplies, rotate food, and stamp the time and date on food in coolers.
  • Assist cooks and kitchen staff with various tasks as needed, and provide cooks with needed items.
  • Carry food supplies, equipment, and utensils to and from storage and work areas.
  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, or silverware.
  • Inform supervisors when equipment is not working properly and when food and supplies are getting low, and order needed items.
  • Load dishes, glasses, and tableware into dishwashing machines.
  • Make special dressings and sauces as condiments for sandwiches.
  • Mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads, vegetable salads, and pasta salads.
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service, or store them in refrigerated storage cabinets.
  • Portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to patrons.
  • Receive and store food supplies, equipment, and utensils in refrigerators, cupboards, and other storage areas.
  • Remove trash and clean kitchen garbage containers.
  • Scrape leftovers from dishes into garbage containers.
  • Stir and strain soups and sauces.
  • Stock cupboards and refrigerators, and tend salad bars and buffet meals.
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage.
  • Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas, such as refrigerators and freezers.
  • Use manual or electric appliances to clean, peel, slice, and trim foods.
  • Vacuum dining area and sweep and mop kitchen floor.
  • Wash, peel, and cut various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to prepare for cooking or serving.
  • Weigh or measure ingredients.

Course Work Based Learning Activities

Guest speakers, field trips (physical and virtual), job shadows, and internships.

Course Materials

Suggested Textbook: Introduction to Culinary Arts, Prentice Hall (The Culinary Institute of America)


1. Employment Portfolio

Unit Length (Hours): 10 Hours 

Unit Description:

The lessons in this unit consist of activities that teach the student how to write a portfolio for a student organization or a future job.

The areas are:

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Fill out a sample job application  

Create a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation 

Complete a mock interview.

Unit Assessment

Job application, cover letter, resume, letter of recommendation and mock interview.

2. Careers and Job Skills

Unit Length (Hours): 15.25 hours

Unit Description:  Students will take an in-depth look at the job titles, job expectations, salaries, education needed (and forecast for) the industry sector of food service and hospitality. The unit also links and shows transition skills to other industry sectors. Students should include this information in their portfolios.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to: 

Know about career options

Understand various types of culinary education and training

Know what is expected of people in each job

Unit Assessment

Career Portfolio

3. Safety and Sanitation

Unit Length (Hours): 23 Hours

Unit Description: 

This unit explores the foundation of food service and hospitality services. Using industry standards to teach "Food Code" students will understand, demonstrate and apply principles of food safety and sanitation on a daily basis in labs, activities and all applications through the flow of food. Students will understand national, state and local agencies responsible for safety and sanitation. Students will be able to demonstrate correct practices and apply instruction to project based learning and case studies.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will learn: 

The importance of food safety

To develop good grooming and personal hygiene habits

To clean and sanitize equipment and tools

To dispose of waste and recycle properly

Ways to control pests

Unit Assessment

Lab assessment of cleanliness among students and equipment. 

4. Introduction to Knife Skills

Unit Length (Hours): 8 hours

Unit Description:

This unit offers comprehensive instruction on knives and common small tools. Identification, application, proper use and storage is critical to student success. Knife and small tool safety, as well as good technique, should be an emphasis in any food service and hospitality course.

Unit Competencies/Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Identify parts of a knife

Select the appropriate knife

Use a knife properly

Make a variety of cuts

Maintain knives

Unit Assessment

Students will demonstrate different cuts using a variety of knives. 

5. Equipment, Policies and Procedures

Unit Length (Hours): 8 hours

Unit Description: 

In this unit large equipment is identified and proper use taught. Policy and procedures are important regardless of the type of equipment or procedure in the labs.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Understand workstations and work lines

Know the kitchen work flows

Unit Assessment

Students will design a kitchen layout that shows workstations and work lines.

6. Garnishes and Plating

Unit Length (Hours): 8 hours

Unit Description:

This unit's focus is on the art of the plate; classical to modern plate design. Simple steps such as "full cover" to variations of plating are taught, and garnishes and edible art presentations are included in the unit.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Present foods

Portion foods

Control temperature for effective presentation

Use textures, colors, and shapes for effective presentation

Unit Assessment

Students will create a plate presentation.

7. Herbs and Spices

Unit Length (Hours): 8 Hours

Unit Description:

This unit's focus is on identifying herbs and spices; most important to the aromatic of a dish. 

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Identify and use herbs and spices.

Identify and use additional aromatic ingredients.

Prepare and use aromatic combinations.

Unit Assessment

Mix herbs and spices together to create samples for ranking.

8. Salads and Dressings

Unit Length (Hours): 16 Hours

Unit Description:

Components of a salad, types of salads, types of greens, and correct plating are fundamental skill sets students will acquire through classroom and lab settings in this unit. Types of dressings, correct procedures and variations for use on menus give students the ability to then manipulate their own versions. A variety of menu applications and service techniques are included, as are safety and sanitation protocols.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be to:

Understand the garde manger station.

Identify and prepare dressings.

Unit Assessment

Prepare a vinaigrette.

9. Sandwiches, Cold Pantry and Appetizers

Unit Length (Hours): 16 hours

Unit Description:

Hot and cold sandwich creation is an excellent example of production line and uniform product presentation. Knowledge of cold pantry and appetizers allow students to successfully build on skills from prior units. Application of plating, garnishing, safety and sanitation for ready to eat foods is emphasized. This unit is a great way to infuse culinary traditions and trends.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Understand basic sandwich elements

Understand the mise en place for sandwich making

Understand the types of cold and hot sandwiches

Identify types of appetizers

Present appetizers 

Unit Assessment

Prepare a roast beef sandwich. 

Make a mayonnaise-based seafood salad for a cocktail party. 

10. Stocks, Soups and Sauces

Unit Length (Hours): 24 hours

Unit Description:

A culinary course would not be complete without a unit on classic stocks, soups and sauces. Students will learn the basic stocks and be able to utilize them in a variety of applications. Students will also be able to apply the 5 mother sauces to full plating applications.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Identify basic ingredients for stocks

Identify types of stocks

Properly prepare and store stocks

Use stocks

Identify basic ingredients for sauces

Prepare thickeners for sauces

Identify types of sauces

Prepare and store sauces

Present sauces

Identify basic types of soup

Prepare soups

Reheat and serve soups

Garnish soups

Unit Assessment

Students will create a soup or stock

11. Grains, Pasta and Vegetable Sides

Unit Length (Hours): 11.50 Hours

Unit Description:

In this unit students will learn about the important role grains play in human nutrition, the ease of preparation, and variety of uses of not only common grains such as rice and wheat, but lesser known grains such as quinoa and spelt. Students will prepare and critique pasta, and utilize grains, pasta and other food products to create main and starchy side dishes. Students will be able to prep, prepare and critique a wide variety of vegetables to implement as side dishes.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Understand grains and grain processing

Select and store grains

Prepare and present grains

Identify types of paste

Prepare and present pasta 

Identify types of vegetables

Select and store vegetables

Prepare, cook and serve vegetables

Unit Assessment

Student will make homemade pasta and steel-cut oats.

12. Introduction to Bakery

Unit Length (Hours): 30.50 Hours

Unit Description:

Through instruction in this unit students will be able to understand, demonstrate, apply and evaluate bakery tools, supplies, equipment and formulas. Students will plan, prepare and evaluate a variety of bakery and pastry products, and will use safety, sanitation and nutrition concepts.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Identify bakeshop ingredients and their functions.

Identify and use bakeshop equipment.

Understand formulas used in the bakeshop.

Unit Assessment

Students will convert a non-baking recipe to a baking recipe formula.

13. Desserts

Unit Length (Hours): 8 Hours

Unit Description:

Students will understand, prepare, present and evaluate a variety of desserts. Nutrition, garnishing, and safety and sanitation knowledge will be utilized in this unit.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Identify various types of chocolate 

Work with chocolate 

Make ganache

Make custards

Make mousesses and other aerated desserts 

Make frozen desserts

Identify the basic ingredients of cookies and cakes

Identify various types of cookies

Make cookies and cakes

Build, ice, and finish cakes

Make pie and tart dough

Assemble a pie or tart

Make pastries using choux paste

Plating desserts

Unit Assessment

Create a finished cake 

Lesson Plans

Course Summative Assessment

The summative course assessment includes a practical exam in which students create a meal to demonstrate use of a soup, sandwich, pasta and a dessert. They should be expected to use specific knife cuts and specific cooking methods for this meal.