The Culinary Academy is the perfect place to start if you are curious about cooking or if you’re thinking about pursuing a culinary career. You will gain useful skills that you will be able to use throughout your life, whether you’re cooking at home or at your job. You will have the chance to gain the certifications (ServSafe and SafeStaff) necessary to work in a restaurant in Florida. You will also create a resume and be provided with any job opportunities that come up in the surrounding area. Through various catering functions the academy participates in, such as homecoming and teacher lunches, you can obtain your volunteer hours. There is a $25.00 fee each year you are in the academy, which is used to purchase ingredients and paper supplies. The mission statement of the Culinary Arts Academy is to” implement rigorous learning experiences to prepare students for all post-high school options in the culinary field”. Upon completing this academy, St Lucie county has accreditation agreements with local culinary schools, and you could get as many as 8 college credit hours toward a culinary degree.

Culinary 1: Introduction to Culinary Arts

In your first year in the culinary academy you will participate in basic labs that will help you get used to following recipes, working in groups, becoming familiar with the kitchen tools and equipment, and focusing on safety and sanitation. You will have an opportunity to obtain a SafeStaff certification which concentrates on food safety and is mandatory in any Florida food service operation. You will also study customer service, professionalism, and management essentials where you will do a career project, create a resume, practice interviewing, and perform an entry level job search. Finally, you will study principles of nutrition, and the history of food service.

Culinary 2: Knife skills and ServSafe Manager industry certification

During the second year of the culinary academy, you will participate in labs involving knife skills. You will spend one quarter preparing for the second certification called the ServSafe Manager exam. This five-year certification educates you on the safe practices of food handling, preparation and service, and will enable you to get a supervisory food service job during and post high school. You will also focus on recipe conversions, yields, and food cost. Finally, this year you will create a menu project and turn in a tasting journal quarterly with comments on all the foods you have tried.

Culinary 3: Cooking Methods and Cuisines

Culinary 3 is the final year of the culinary academy. During this year you spend most of your time in the kitchen lab focusing on various cooking methods. If there are any field trips, workshops and/or competitions, you will have the chance to participate in them. You will spend one quarter concentrating on advanced baking, one quarter on meats and poultry preparations, and two quarters are dedicated to the US by region and Latin American dishes. As part of this course you will complete a project on one of the regions where you have an opportunity to prepare a dish from that region to present to the class. Finally, for your final exam, you will have a mystery basket filled with ingredients and will prepare an appetizer, entrée, starch, vegetable and sauce with the items you are given.

Culinary 4: Teacher’s assistant/sous chef

Culinary 4 is an optional course for anyone who joins the academy and completes Culinary 1-3. Should you decide to be a part of this class you will join one of the classes you have already completed and assist the teacher and the students in any way you can. Culinary 4 is a great opportunity for anyone seriously considering a culinary career; along with enhancing the skills you’ve already learned, it will enable you to develop a strong work ethic and enhanced leadership skills.