Program Description

The Culinary Arts program provides students with the training and experience needed to gain employment in the food service industry and to pursue a post-secondary education in the culinary arts. Students will work with food, learning to prepare it and refining their capacity to taste it. This program is designed to teach the student about food preparation at the commercial level, that is, how to prepare food that people will buy. That said, this program is geared toward learning the basics of the culinary arts, and not focused on personal consumption. Students will learn knife skills, equipment use, methods of cooking and baking, culinary terminology, and customer service. They additionally learn safe food handling and sanitation in their second year and have the opportunity to attain the nationally recognized Serv-Safe certification. Students work in the program’s commercial kitchen having a chance to learn in a professional setting. The goal is that after the student graduates from the two-year Culinary Arts program at the Windham Regional Career Center, they are prepared for entry-level positions in the field and encouraged to continue their education at the post-secondary level.

Level I

There is joy in the kitchen if you know where to look. Using the National Restaurant Association Pro-Start curriculum, the Culinary Arts Level I program introduces students to a career in food service and restaurant work. The restaurant industry-driven curriculum provides students with real-world practical and foundational restaurant skills. In the context of an on-site professional kitchen, topics will include food preparation; recipes and ingredients; front-of-the-house customer service; meal and menu planning; professional kitchen equipment use and maintenance; sanitation and hygiene; workplace safety; proper food handling; and workflow. Students will learn about the many culinary related jobs and career pathways as well as 21st-century work skills. Working in teams, students will enhance their professional communication skills. Students will have the opportunity to earn the nationally recognized Serv-Safe Food Handler certification. A portion of the class will be devoted to preparing for this exam.

Level II

The Culinary Arts Level II program emphasizes marketing, menu management, food safety, cost control, and team building. Students will study and cook with eggs and dairy products, red meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, and fruits. Baking skills will be explored through flatbreads, pizza, muffins, southern-style biscuits, cookies, and pies. Concepts in nutrition and building healthy menus will be explored. The class will stress the importance of teamwork and the necessity of kitchen work skills. Students will prepare for and take the Serv-Safe Manager certification exam. Students will work in the kitchen of the WRCC Hideaway Restaurant. The students will use skills gained in the program and the practice needed for an advantage in employment within the hospitality and foodservice professions and entrance into a postsecondary education in the culinary arts.

For more detailed information go to our Program of Study.

Clubs and Activities

SkillsUSA - Preparing for leadership in the world of work.

ProStart is a two year, nationwide program created by the National Retaurant Association to develop tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice leaders.

Industry Recognized Credentials

ServSafe Food Handlers Certificate
ServSafe Food Manager Certificate

Your Instructor

David Spanierman

My name is David Spanierman. As the Culinary Arts instructor, I bring a love of all things food and a passion for being a positive role model. My philosophical approach to culinary is that there is joy if you know where to look. Before coming to the Windham Regional Career Center, I had worked in many different areas of culinary including starting my own food business. After my own children graduated from high school, I started to substitute teach and enjoyed working with children of high school age. One thing led to another and I found myself working full time at WRCC.