12-Week Basic Culinary Certificate Program

Whether you’re an amateur or beginner in the kitchen looking to progress beyond boiling water or an advanced home cook wanting to take your cooking to the next level, the 12 Week Basics Series is just right for you. In this cooking program, we go beyond merely teaching you recipes to explore the cooking techniques that are the foundations for all recipes. Understanding what’s “under the hood” of a recipe (what makes it work) helps you pull it off to perfection every time. You’ll learn the basic science and proper cooking methods that will make all cooking a breeze, from quick weeknight family meals to entertaining for a crowd!

how it works


RESEARCH IT – Each week will begin with your assigned chapters that you will read pertaining to the featured technique.


SEE IT – You will gather in the kitchen as the instructor teaches you these skills in our commercial kitchen.


COOK IT – Now's the time to show the instructor how to execute the technique by demonstrating what you've learned.


(Includes: Culinary Instruction, Recipe Binder)

What the program covers

Each class will begin with a lecture from the chef about the day’s theme and recipes. After this introduction, the group will break up into smaller teams, and start working on the recipes in the class menu. You will be eating the dishes you make at the end of class. You are welcome to eat as much as you’d like in class, though unfortunately, our zoning permit does not allow us to have students take food home.


We start your training with basic, essential skills in the kitchen and working with your most important tools – your knives. We’ll explore the physics of the knife and cutting techniques such as slice, julienne, mince, dice, and chopping. We demystify sharpening and honing, choosing the right equipment, and how to keep your fingers cut-free forever.


In this second class, we’ll cut ingredients for sautéing and stir frying, and break out the woks and sauté pans for a night of stove top fun! While cooking up some exciting international dishes, we’ll explore topics such as choosing the right pans and utensils, oils vs. butter, the inside scoop on non-stick, why to add oil only to a hot pan, and proper procedures for ensuring both proteins and veggies are done to perfection. We’ll even explore how to set your cooking on fire, the safe way, with flambé.


Day three in your training: omnipresent stocks and a natural next step to creating delicious soups. In stocks we’ll explore raw vs. roasted bone, mirepoix, how to get the best flavor and mouth feel, differences in simmers and boiling, sachets, and ingredients to make stocks from around the world (to name a few topics). Our soups will range from beautifully simple, seasonal vegetable purees to delicately-balanced Asian favorites, hearty chowders and creamed soups, and everything in between.


We continue our technique of cooking foods either fully or partially submerged in “liquid” with a twist – this time our “liquid” is oil. We’ll check out pan and tool options, discuss oil differences, knowing the right temperatures, proper breading procedures, seasoning methods, and even how to roll an egg roll. From classic fried chicken to tantalizing tortilla chips, it will be a frying frenzy. Learn some fantastic international dishes with a perfect crispy crunch!


We take cooking with liquids even further this week by submerging tasty proteins and veggies in liquids and slowly cooking them! Learn how to properly brown meat, what pan to pick (and why), what are the best veggies and cuts of meats and fish to use for this style of cooking and how to cook everything to perfectly delicate tenderness. We’ll create delicious stews and braised dishes from around the globe in this flavor-packed class.


And speaking of flavor, get ready for French mother sauces and all their international friends. We’ll take our newfound stock expertise to make age-old culinary master sauces. With the base sauces we learn, you will be able to create the complex sauces we all know and love; and we’ll add some new ones to your favorites list! From velvety demi-glace to creamy cheese sauces, spicy BBQ and sweet chili sauces, coulis, pestos, chutneys, salsas, etc. Our palates will be coated with saucy goodness. Say goodbye to lumpy, soupy and tasteless sauces forever.


In Week Seven we begin to utilize the oven as our heat source for cooking. This new medium means fun new challenges to explore. We’ll learn about searing, trussing, brining, convection, picking the right tools for the job, determining doneness, and choosing the right oven temperatures. From juicy roasted meats to perfectly broiled fish and deliciously tender vegetables, there will be a whole lot of cooking going on!


One of the greatest tools we have for cooking our favorite foods is the grill. Nothing imparts such a wonderful flavor and who can deny the beauty of perfect grill marks?! We’ll explore choosing proper tools, the right way to oil a grill, how to keep meats and fish from sticking, gas vs. charcoal, the difference between direct and indirect grilling, marinades and rubs, wood and herb smoking, and how to get those perfectly crossed grill marks. Get ready to grill everything from fish to fruit!


No meal is complete without good, comforting bread. Whether it’s for a sandwich or soaking up the last bits of a delicious sauce, bread has a place as a well-loved staple in our diet. We’ll discover the real deal behind yeasts and bread flours, gluten development, relaxing, proofing, baking stones, kneading, flavor development, shaping doughs, mixers, steaming, convection, choosing the right tools, and how to get beautifully golden brown crusts on the outside and perfect textures on the inside. Nothing says lovin’ like warm bread from the oven!


In the second part of our bread extravaganza, we switch our leavening agent from yeast to good old sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and its jazzed up cousin, baking powder. Quick doughs are an indispensable asset to anyone’s culinary repertoire. We’ll explore topics such as weight vs. volume measurements, the difference between baking soda and baking powder, forming doughs, maintaining moistness, adding flakiness, picking out the right tools and pans, oven management, determining doneness, and how to store baked goods. Round out your bread-baking skills in yet another evening of doughy deliciousness!


No proper culinary training would be comprehensive without an exploration of pasta, starches and grains. We’ll go beyond pasta and rice to learn about ingredients such as couscous, spelt and quinoa. we’ll teach you about how grains affect our bodies and how to make the healthiest choice for you. We’ll learn about properly salting water, making and rolling pasta dough, draining pasta (and keeping it from sticking), dumplings, potato preparations, the difference in rice grain size, types of starches and how to release them, toasting grains and what “al dente” really means. We’ll create delicious recipes that make great sides but can also shine as entrees all their own.


Hors d’oeuvre, which literally means “out of work” but translates to “outside the meal,” is a one-bite item that’s either stationary or passed and served separate from or prior to a meal. An hors d’oeuvre is typically finger food and might refer to, among other items. Appetizers, on the other hand, appear as the first courses when seated at the table. They’re often slightly larger and composed in a way that complements the entrée and dessert courses to follow.

Winter Session (TUES)
JAN 17, 24, 31; FEB 7, 14, 21, 28; MAR 7, 14, 28; APR 4, 11 (NO Class MAR 21)
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
$1,325 p/p


Please NOTE that candidates must be: A minimum of 16 years of age; Able to read, write, and speak English.

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