AVTEC

Professional Cooking and Baking



Alaska Culinary Academy CampusThe Alaska Culinary Academy at AVTEC has a long-standing reputation for providing skilled, creative cooks and bakers for the hospitality industry. The demand for trained, qualified professionals far exceeds supply and the job prospects for graduates are excellent.

We are happy to announce that AVTEC offers the first and only culinary and baking program in Alaska accredited by the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission. This guarantees prospective students that AVTEC's program has met the highest standards for program, staff and facilities, the same standards met by top programs all over the United States.

Our program is designed for more than just getting a job but to give our graduates the skills they need to advance into kitchen, bakery, and restaurant management. Yes, cooking is creative and people oriented, but it is also a business. You need expertise in budgeting, purchasing, personnel management and menu planning to be successful.

Mission

To provide training in the job-related social and technical skills needed for building a successful career in the Alaska Hospitality Industry.

Length of Course

1,490 hours

Enrollment

August & January

Training Hours

Depending on the training segment, classes may be scheduled as early as 6 a.m. or finish as late as 9 p.m. (a seven hour training day), Monday through Friday with some weekend classes. Approximately 10 hours a week of homework is required.

Prerequisites

Please be advised that students in the Professional Cooking and Baking program, in order to meet the required competencies, must handle and prepare a wide variety of product including but not limited to seafood, nuts, spices, grains, vegetables, fowl, meats, dairy, eggs etc. The culinary program cannot provide an allergen-free environment. Those with any food allergies and/or food/cooking fume sensitivities should consider this carefully before applying.

Mathematics and reading skills are essential ingredients for achieving the best paying jobs. Testing and grading is done electronically.

TABE tests scores for this program must be:
Reading - 585
Combined Math - 579

Laptops are recommended because computer lab space is limited.  Individual courses may be taken as professional upgrades.  Prerequisites vary based on what portion of training a student wants to attend.  For further information on prerequisites, please contact the Alaska Culinary Academy Department Head, Elizabeth Johnston.

Students are required to have professional knife sets, uniforms, hand tools, textbooks, and school supplies. Some testing and grading are done electronically.  Laptops are recommended because computer lab space is limited.  Physical requirements for hospitality occupations are to be able to lift and carry at least 50 lbs, be steady on feet for long periods of time, work nights and early morning shifts.

Our program is equal to the top programs in the nation!

The Alaska Culinary Academy's program has met or exceeded the program standards for the American Culinary Federation.

AVTEC's Alaska Culinary Academy program is loaded with options:

  • Start on your way to professional certifications through the American Culinary Federation – AVTEC graduates can certify as a Cook/Culinarian or Culinary Baker by documenting school and work experience. This is the first step to becoming a Chef or Pastry Chef!
  • Take advantage of our articulation agreement with the University of Alaska Anchorage and earn college credit for your training at AVTEC. Move on to the UAA Culinary Arts program for your Associates or Bachelors degree.
  • Busy industry professionals can sign up for individual courses for professional upgrades and certifications in ServSafe, Food Protection Manager. Courses in menu management and supervision are assets for forward planning professionals.
  • AVTEC graduates can return to complete newly added courses, obtain additional certifications or obtain a new graduation level: our program is accredited for BOTH cooking and baking.
  • AVTEC is also an American Culinary Federation Approved Certification Testing Site.

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) does not endorse any one program as being better than another. It does ensure prospective students that the minimum standards have been met or exceeded by the programs it has accredited. The ACF offers program graduates that are student members of the ACF special consideration. Certification from the ACF as a Culinarian may be obtained at no charge by documenting graduation and combined school and work experience totaling two years.

Program Requirements

The department offers two areas of certification: Cook/Culinarian and Culinary Baker. The two areas of certification are almost identical with differences being that the students, during the second half of their training, choose between the advanced baking classes (Advanced Pastry Arts and A la Carte Breads and Pastries) or the advanced cooking classes (Menu Development, Buffet Catering, International Cuisines and A la Carte Cooking). Each program has written and practical finals. The students may also return after successful completion of one certificate for a professional upgrade to train for another certificate.

To qualify for this training you must meet one the following requirements:

  • Must have successfully completed the Cook/Culinarian or Culinary Baker program
  or
  • Provide documentation showing work experience in the industry within the past 12 months and receive instructor approval

The Alaska Culinary Academy presents a competency-based training program. The majority of the training will be a "hands-on" food production approach, with the students working individually or in small groups. Additionally, to provide the basic groundwork, a great deal of time will also be spent in a classroom setting and in independent study. These two programs are set up in a progressive training format. Starting with the beginning basics class, each subsequent food production class becomes more advanced in its techniques and more extensive in the evaluation of the student.

Each area of certification offers three levels of certification. Certifications are based on the successful completion of courses selected for each area. Levels reflect skill standards defined by the State of Alaska and American Culinary Federation.

The certificates and their required courses are:

  • Cooks Helper/Prep Cook (In addition to Food Service Worker requirements) :
    • A la Carte Breakfast
    • Culinary Baking Skills
    • International Cuisines
    • Interview Training
    • Serv Safe, Food Protection Manager Resume Writing
    • Volume Food Production
    • Buffet Catering
  • Cook/Culinarian (In addition to the Cooks Helper/Prep Cook Requirements):
    • Nutrition for Culinary Professionals
    • Inventory and Purchasing
    • Management by Menu
    • Supervision in the Hospitality Industry
    • A la Carte Cooking
    • Dining Room and Beverage Service
    • Cook Certification Written exam
    • Cook Certification Practical exams
  • Baker's Helper (In addition to Food Service Worker Requirements):
    • Culinary Baking Skills
    • Advanced Pastry Arts
    • Serv Safe, Food Protection Manager
    • Interview Training
    • Resume Writing
  • Culinary Baker (In addition to the Bakers Helper Requirements):
    • Nutrition for Culinary Professionals
    • Inventory and Purchasing
    • Supervision in the Hospitality Industry
    • A la Carte Breads and Pastries
    • Dining Room and Beverage Service
    • Baker Certification Written exam
    • Baker Certification Practical exams

Earn University of Alaska Credit While Attending AVTEC

Professional Cooking and Baking graduates may earn 22 University of Alaska college credits towards the requirements of an Associate of Applied Science Culinary Arts Degree.

Program Content


To achieve a Culinary Arts Technology Certificate, students must complete the following requirements. For a detailed description of each requirement, click on the link below.

Course Hours
Related Studies 57
Introduction to Professional Cooking I and II 239
ServSafe, Food Protection Manager 36
Culinary Math 52
Volume Food Production 123
Nutrition for the Culinary Professional 40
A la Carte Breakfast 50
A la Carte Cooking 215
A la Carte Bread and Pastries 215
Dining Room and Beverage Service 65
Culinary Baking Skills 200
Inventory and Purchasing 80
International Cuisines 70
Buffet Catering 105
Management by Menu 88
Supervision in the Hospitality Industry 70
Advanced Pastry Arts 268

Related Studies

Participate in school safety orientation, complete achievement tests, obtain First Aid & CPR card, participate in resume writing and job search training, participate in interview and communications training.

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Introduction to Professional Cooking I and II

Basic cooking theory and practical application of those theories, centering on the understanding and use of standardized basic cooking methods. This course also includes safety, communication, career opportunities, professionalism, math skills, knife skills, terminology, weights and measures, identification and use of equipment, knowledge and history of the hospitality industry.

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ServSafe, Food Protection Manager

The ServSafe class has become the industry standard in food safety and sanitation training and is accepted in almost all United States jurisdictions that require employee certification. This course has been developed the most accurate, up to date information for all levels of employees on all aspects of food handling.

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Culinary Math

Starting with basic math skills, moving into working with decimals, fractions, and multiplications, learning to incorporate with our system of weights and measures and in the application of standardized recipes; prepares the student for production, baking, purchasing and menu development labs.

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Volume Food Production

Designed to develop the basic cooking skills and work habits needed for preparing and serving food in quantity. The training emphasis will first be on variations of the basic cooking methods and skills, which will then be applied to food preparations for 50 people or more. The styles of production will focus on skills used in banquets, catering, as well as the cafeteria-style set-ups. Also stressed are organizational skills, timing, sanitation, safety and presentation.

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Nutrition for the Culinary Professional

Provides the most accurate, up to date information for culinary students and professionals who need to use nutritional principles to evaluate and modify menus and respond to the customers’ needs; covers characteristics of the major nutrients, how to maximize nutrient retention in food preparation and apply the principle of nutrient needs throughout the life cycle to menu planning and preparation.

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A la Carte Breakfast

This progressive class begins instruction with how to flip eggs in a pan and ends with the operation of a full breakfast kitchen. During the first week, each day builds upon the next, covering such skills as omelet production, griddle work, breakfast cold foods and banquet style entrees. The second week consists of students rotating through stations preparing a full breakfast menu to order.

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A la Carte Cooking

Designed to develop the skills needed to be able to work as a “line cook” in preparing menu items to order. This type of cooking skill is used primarily when working in restaurants, resorts and hotels. Students rotate through various cooking stations depending on the methods utilized for a ‘la Carte. Along with cooking methods, instruction will focus upon mise en place, organization, timing, sanitation, safety, and plate presentation.

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A la Carte Bread and Pastries

Designed to develop the skills needed to be able to work as a Baker/Pastry Chef primarily in restaurants, resorts and hotels. Students will be responsible for developing recipes and menu items, breads, pastries and desserts featured in the Academy Cafe. Along with production skills, instruction will focus upon mise en place, organization, timing, team work, sanitation, safety, and plate presentation.

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Dining Room and Beverage Service

This course offers culinary students an introduction to customer service, types of table service and the skills necessary to achieve quality service goals. During the course, students will examine the qualities of a professional server and how to exceed customer needs and create successful mise en place. A survey of industry segments and equipment is also covered, and concludes with the nuts and bolts of table service and the role of managers in service.

This course also introduces students to the basics of beverage management and how to profitably manage a beverage operation. Study involves a survey of wine, beer, distilled spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages including coffee and tea. Instruction is provided in Training for Alcohol Professionals (TAPS) to insure that students are aware of the law and procedures relating to responsible alcohol service.

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Culinary Baking Skills

Cooks, especially in small operations and remote locations, are often required to produce a variety of baked goods, from breads to finished desserts. This course develops the basic baking skills commonly used in most kitchens. Skills in baking basics give the student a more balanced and marketable skill level.

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Inventory and Purchasing

Basic principles of inventory, purchasing and receiving food, beverage equipment, contract services and supplies; apply knowledge of quality standards and food product regulations to the purchasing function; primary focus is on inventory, product identification, supplier selection, and the subsequent ordering, receiving, storing, and issuing process.

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International Cuisines

Focuses on exposure to typical recipes, products, and production techniques used in the preparation and presentation of International Regional Cuisines. This class will also explore the influences of international cultures and their cuisines on current culinary trends and menu development.

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Buffet Catering

Focuses on developing the skills used in the Garde Manger kitchen in the production and presentation of buffet and catered events, pate and sausage preparation, canape’ and hors d’eouvre preparation, carved centerpieces, menu planning, organizational technique and sanitation.

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Management by Menu

Focuses on the development of various styles of food service menus, layout and design, basic menu planning; consideration of relationships between menu, nutrition, sales, purchasing, food and labor cost controls and facility; develop skills needed to work into management (chef) position within food service operation; smaller, remote operations may require the cook to plan the menu.

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Supervision in the Hospitality Industry

Designed to prepare the student for the transfer from employee to supervisor; focuses on developing skills in human relations, personal management, and evaluates styles of leadership; addresses the nuts and bolts of management: interviewing, communication, job descriptions, training methods, evaluations, conflict resolution, stress, time and organizational techniques.

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Advanced Pastry Arts

Focuses on advanced baking skills used in restaurants, hotels, resorts and specialty bakeries, which feature signature desserts and breads; develop skills in chocolate artistry, basic sugar work, European hearth and bread production, frozen confections, dessert presentation, cold soufflés, advanced cake decorating, fresh pastas, and marzipan.

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