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Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts

Degree Type: Associate of Applied Science Degree, AAS, Certificate, CER, Industry Certification

Pathway: Business, Design, & Hospitality

More Options: Classroom Based, Remote Real-Time, Hyflex, Online, Hybrid

Program Length: 4 semesters

Location: Centennial

Transferability: Non-transferable

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Academic Support

You're never alone at Pikes Peak State College. We provide you with the support and resources you'll need to succeed this semester. From our tutors in the learning commons to our passionate faculty, we are here to help.

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Why choose culinary arts at PPSC?

The Pikes Peak State College culinary arts program is the best choice if you're thinking of becoming a chef, developing your baking, or cooking abilities, or starting your own business. You will learn from professional chefs and experienced instructors in this highly-rated program accredited by the American Culinary Federation. You will acquire practical experience that will help you develop your skills and abilities. Wine pairings, professional knife skills, cooking methods, and sauce creation are all covered in your cooking classes. Bread items, decorating techniques, candies, and confection creations are all covered in your baking classes. We offer short certificate programs and degrees to fit your needs.

The Culinary Arts program at PPSC has an Exemplary status with the American Culinary Federation, the highest rating awarded by  the ACF American Culinary Federation. The ACF is the largest professional organization in chefs’ North America. They are the premier organization based on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.

This fully accredited program can help launch your career in the food service industry. Our seasoned chef-instructors will not only prepare you to cook in different styles and settings, bake delicious breads and pastries, along with food safety and sanitation standards, knife skills, and more!

Our objective is for our graduates to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become employable as a first cook or assistant baker in an industrial kitchen. This will be accomplished through:

  • High expectations of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Remain current with industry standards by maintaining an active Advisory Committee of community culinary professionals.
  • Maintain currency in technology and equipment.
  • Adhere to the American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation accreditation standards. 
  • Encourage Life Long Learning
Follow us on Instagram to see our program in action.
culinary student



Culinary Student

Join an In-Person Information Session

At the session you will meet your Chef instructors, tour the kitchen lab area, have all your questions answered, and complete your first semester schedule!

New students must attend one of the listed sessions prior attending any Culinary Arts classes.

In-person sessions:

Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 5:30 - 6:30 pm. Room B-204b Centennial Campus, Breckenridge Building.

Monday, January 16, 2023, at 5:30 - 6:30 pm. Room B-204b Centennial Campus, Breckenridge Building. If you can’t attend in person, you can join via Zoom by using the link below.

What do PPSC culinary students study?

Under the direction of skilled chefs, culinary arts students will be able to direct and participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of foods and gain culinary skills.

Students will learn:
  • National sanitation standards
  • Administration and management skills
  • Cooking skills
  • Food production and processing
  • Customer and personal service
  • Knife and cutlery skills
  • Understand the culinary industry on a large scale

Culinary Arts By the Numbers



Employment Rate

Of the students who graduated from the Culinary Arts program (2013-2014) more than 95 % of them received jobs. This is not uncommon as culinary arts is a widely available field.

Students Enrolled

Join the nearly 500 other students in pursuing your degree in culinary arts at PPSC.

Focus Areas

Choose to hone your focus in baking and pastry, food service management, sustainability and dietary cuisine, or culinary arts.

voices of ppcc

andres velez

voices of ppcc

The knowledge and skill sets I gained at PPSC were necessary tools in becoming the business owner I am today. The small classroom setting granted us valuable face time with our Chef instructors that wouldn’t have been possible in a larger school environment. I recommend PPSC to anyone who tells me they want to work in the food service industry.

Andres Velez | Owner, Piglatin Cocina and Anju Korean Street Eats


CUA Classes You Might Take

PPSC's Culinary Arts program has a variety of course options. Check out this sampling of classes that will start you on your new career path.

class 1

Trains students in the basic fundamentals of the culinary field. The course will include student overview, training in areas of Management, Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry. Student will be trained in all areas in order to be successful in both Lecture and Lab courses. Training will include program overviews, safety & sanitation fundamentals, culinary math skills, culinary vocabulary, lab requirements, using online training methods, competitions, basic knife skills, equipment identification and proper usage, professionalism, food service history, kitchen organization, basic principles of cooking, food science, study skills, proper food storage techniques, recipes, cost management, library resources and student learning organizations, scholarships and culinary career opportunities. Students must complete this course with a grade C or higher, prior to advancing in the program.

class 2

Demonstrates the use of management skills training in the food service industry by use of student interaction research, and also demonstrates the various styles of menu development. Includes basic responsibility for food service personnel in all kitchen positions with emphasis on advertising vs. publicity, job analysis, description specifications, and duty list as related to recruiting and hiring process. Covers application, interview techniques, training, and hiring process. Incorporates preparation of menus for different styles of food service concept establishments.

class 3

Introduces the student to the basic rules of sanitation, food-borne illnesses, safe food temperatures, safe food handling techniques, the HACCP Program, pest control procedures, and local/state health rules and regulations for food service operations. At the completion of the course students take a nationally recognized test from the Education Foundation of the National Restaurant Association. If passed with a score of 75% or more, students receive a Certificate of from the Education Foundation.

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chef cooking

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Culinary Arts degree program, students should be able to:

  • Identify proper ServSafe sanitation practices
  • Properly outline a HACCP recipe
  • Demonstrate proficiency in basic culinary weight and volume measuring, and proper recipe conversion including high altitude adjustment
  • Demonstrate proper knife care, handling, and usage
  • Prepare and evaluate classical recipe preparations
  • Demonstrate basic cake decorating techniques
  • Demonstrate competency in food costing and menu pricing and analyze a practical food bid sheet
  • Prepare a basic business plan for a restaurant, catering company, or any food venue (food truck, pop-up kitchen, etc.)
  • Conduct a detailed nutritional analysis

1st semester plan

math & english requirements

1st semester plan

math & english requirements


duck dish

Apply for scholarships

Every year the PPSC Foundation offers hundreds of thousands of dollar's worth of scholarship money for eligible and in need students.


Contact Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts Faculty Contacts

Michael Paradiso
Centennial Campus F300

Advising Team

Advising website