Perfecto Valle
Department Head, Culinary Arts

Gary Costa
Instructor, Culinary Arts

Students enrolled in the CTECS Culinary Arts program are trained in all phases of the food service industry. Students receive the foundational knowledge and skills needed to enter a career in culinary arts or food technology or transition into post-secondary education.

The Culinary Arts students take the “hands-on” approach with their training through the use of fully stocked and operational commercial kitchens to produce food in large quantities, as well as smaller scale kitchens that train students on casual and fine dining. All 18 of our Culinary Arts programs have fully operational restaurants which are open to the public. These restaurants are run by our students as part of the Restaurant Management portion of our curriculum.

Graduates can enter a variety of high-skilled positions or continue their studies at postsecondary institutions. Students that pursue Culinary Arts can also obtain employment opportunities in Four Star Restaurants, Resort Areas, Casinos, Disney World or even on Cruise Ships and travel the world!

  • Executive Chef
    Projected Salary: $60,000

  • Caterer
    Projected Salary: $60,000-$70,000

  • Banquet Manager
    Projected Salary: $40,000

  • Sous Chef
    Projected Salary: $40,000- $50,000

  • Baker
    Projected Salary: $30,000- $40,000

  • Freshmen – OSHA 10

  • Sophomore – ServSafe Food Handlers Certification

  • Juniors – ServSafe Managers Certification

  • Seniors – ServSafe Food Allergens Certification

  • Dietary Aide
    Projected Salary: $30,000- $40,000

  • Garde Manager
    Projected Salary: $30,000- $40,000

  • Food Stylist
    Projected Salary: $40,000

  • Maitre’ D
    Projected Salary: $30,000- $40,000

  • Pastry Chef
    Projected Salary: $40,000

  • Emmett O’Brien Culinary Arts Program  –  FREE

  • Certifications obtained during program – FREE

  • Other Culinary Training Programs – Tuition  $30,000.00 – $40,000.00

Connecticut Technical Education and Career System’s Culinary Arts course breakdown by grade. Each student is required to complete four years of a Career Technical Education program.

Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
3 Credits 3 Credits 3 Credits 3 Credits
Exploratory and Introduction to Culinary Arts Basic Food Service Operating a Restaurant Advanced Restaurant Operations

Students deciding to enter the field of Culinary Arts will be introduced to the basics of safety, sanitation and personal hygiene, as well as equipment identification and use. Students will assist in the daily production of the National School Lunch. All students will make hot foods and learn basic garnishing and portion control. Cold sandwiches and basic desserts will be taught during freshman year. Students will learn about kitchen utensils, small equipment, knife skills and basic hot and cold food preparations. In addition, they learn about weights and measures and simple recipe conversions.

In Grade 10, students learn the basics of food preparation using the school lunch as their main food lab. All students will rotate through different stations preparing, organizing and producing various food items to be served in the school’s cafeteria. Basic theory will include a range of equipment identification, fruit and vegetable identification, basic cooking methods, storage and receiving of products, as well as a la carte and convenience foods. All students will be taught the proper procedure for serving institutional foods. Students will continue to receive instruction in nutrition, safety, sanitation and personal hygiene.

In Grade 11, students are introduced to “front of the house” and “back of the house” restaurant operation through the daily operation of the school restaurant open to faculty and the public. In the dining room they learn customer service and formal dining room service skills which include setting tables, taking reservations and working the cash register while providing a la carte and buffet service menus. In the kitchen, students learn and practice; soups, stocks and sauce making, fruit and vegetable identification and cookery, dairy, eggs and cheese identification and cookery, salad and salad dressings, nutritional menu development as well as starches and grain cookery. The curriculum also includes meat, poultry and seafood identification, fabrication and cookery. Students will also develop basic baking s