Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts

The population is growing, and so is people's appetite for good food. Restaurants, hotels, resorts, clubs, catering operations, contract food services, and healthcare facilities are all looking for educated, qualified culinary professionals. Central Piedmont will train you in the right skills for the right career at the right price.

What You Will Learn

Culinary arts refers to more than just cooking classes — it encompasses the art and practice of all aspects of food preparation, cooking, final presentation, and culinary management. Training in the culinary arts prepares you for a wide variety of career paths in a dynamic and exciting culinary landscape. You will gain theoretical knowledge and practical applications that provide critical competencies to meet industry demands, including environmental stewardship, operational efficiencies, and professionalism. Courses you till take include sanitation and safety, baking, culinary fundamentals, production skills, nutrition, customer service, purchasing and cost control, and human resource management. Courses focusing on global cuisines, farm-to-table concepts, and menu design equip you with the in-demand skills employers are looking for. Upon completion of the program, you:

  • will be able to work effectively as a team member to produce prepared foods, maintaining prescribed Serv-Safe sanitation standards and safe use of equipment and small wares
  • earn the professional designation of Certified Culinarian (if a member of the Charlotte American Culinary Federation Junior Chapter). Certification through the American Culinary Federation demonstrates skill, knowledge, and professionalism to the food service industry. Certified Culinarians within a commercial foodservice are responsible for preparing and cooking sauces, cold food, fish, soups and stocks, meats, vegetables, eggs, and other food items
  • will have completed Serv-Safe training and will be able to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in setting high food safety standards to keep your operation, your customers, and your employees safe

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Why Choose Central Piedmont

Central Piedmont boasts one of the top culinary arts schools in the country. Our culinary arts program is also the only program in Charlotte that is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC) and has achieved "Exemplary Status." Ours was also the only culinary program in North Carolina to be named to the Best Choice Schools' (BCS) list of "Top 20 Best Culinary Schools on the East Coast," where we ranked 14.

In our culinary arts program, you will:

  • learn on state-of-the-art equipment
  • experience a variety of settings; classroom, lab, and work-study
  • produce fantastic culinary creations using the best products available
  • learn from proven industry professionals who have seen it all
  • enjoy small class settings and individual attention to help achieve your career goals

You will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the Aspire Bakery and Bistro or Greenway Restaurant and to participate in the Culinary Club .

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

All these things I never thought that I would do, are the things I’ve always wanted to do... And now that I'm allowing my life to be what it is, I’m becoming the person who I wanted to be the whole entire time. Desiree Kinker '19 Read Desiree's story in the Charlotte Observer

The Details

  • Program Options

    Choose from an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts and several culinary arts certificates. The college catalog details the culinary arts program options currently available at Central Piedmont as well as program eligibility and course requirements. If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center.

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer culinary arts course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student .

    Corporate and Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's Corporate and Continuing Education provides non-credit, non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness. Accelerated Career Training opportunities are available.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Culinary Arts Program Requirements

    You will need to complete any developmental studies courses before you can enroll in program curriculum classes. After enrolling in the program, you will need to set up a meeting with the program chair before registering for classes. All courses in the program curriculum require that you have student accident medical insurance. Every student, each semester must see their faculty advisor prior to their registration period to have their records evaluated and their next semester's classes approved online in order to register for program courses. For detailed information on culinary arts course and program requirements, visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog.

  • Locations

    Central Campus

    Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm where courses are available using Schedule Builder.

  • Course Delivery Methods

    • Classroom/Lab
    • Combined (Classroom/Lab and Online)

    Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm course delivery methods using Schedule Builder.

  • Careers with a Culinary Arts Degree

    The North Carolina hospitality industry is composed of 17,500 restaurants and 1,700 lodging establishments across the state. Combined, these businesses generate $20.2 billion in sales annually. The North Carolina hospitality industry employs 475,000 North Carolinians and accounts for 11 percent of the state's workforce.

    Our culinary arts graduates leave the program eligible to pursue American Culinary Federation certification and fully prepared for entry-level opportunities in established, full-service companies as prep cooks, line cooks, station chefs, and more. You’ll also complete ServSafe training, earning skills and abilities needed for setting high food safety standards wherever you choose to work. With additional experience, graduates can advance their careers to pursue opportunities, including sous chef, pastry chef, executive chef, or foodservice manager. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed culinary arts career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont . Financial aid and scholarships are available.

    Culinary Arts Program Costs

    In addition to Central Piedmont tuition and fees, culinary arts students will need to purchase the following supplies:

    • uniform: varies by size needed
    • culinary arts tool kit: approx. $450


    Accelerated Career Training Culinary Apprentice Certificate program

  • Related Programs

  • Admitted Students: Find Your Faculty Advisor

    Students at Central Piedmont have a faculty advisor for each program of study offered. Find your faculty advisor based on your last name: