Culinary Arts

In CATEC's two-year Culinary Arts program, students examine all aspects of the industry. They explore diverse cuisines and service styles by demonstrating basic culinary skills, including knife skills, different cooking methods, food science principles, and scaling and measuring techniques. Students read recipes and develop menus. They investigate food safety and sanitation measures, including kitchen safety procedures. This program prepares students for occupations such as chef/cook, baker/pastry helper, pastry decorator, hospitality worker, dietetic aide/assistant, food demonstrator, and entrepreneur. Critical thinking, practical problem solving, and entrepreneurship opportunities within the field of Culinary Arts are emphasized. Students have hands-on opportunities through caterings and our food bus, Technical Eats



Students receive up to 3 high school elective credits each year for successful completion of the program. Passage of the certification exam will award the student 2 student-verified elective credits, one of which can be substituted for a verified credit in either science or history.


National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Prep Cook exam

Year 1: ServSafe Food Handler

Year 2: ServSafe Food Manager

Year 2: American Red Cross Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers

Virginia Workplace Readiness Skills Assessment


The Culinary program is dual-enrolled with Piedmont Virginia Community College. Students successfully completing both years of the program will receive 17 college credits towards an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts.

Class State Code Duration Grades Dual Enrollment Credential(s) AM or PM
Professional Culinary Arts I 8521 1 year 10-12 PVCC – 9 credits ServSafe Food Handler AM PM
Professional Culinary Arts II 8522 1 year 10-12 PVCC – 8 credits Commercial Foods Assessment (NOCTI), Serve Safe Food Manager PM Only
Intro to Culinary Arts 8250 1 year 10-12 SPED N/A ServSafe Food Handler AM Only
Students successfully completing the program receive credit for the following Piedmont Virginia Community College courses.
Year College Course Codes College Course Name Credit Per Course College
Year 1 HRI106 Principles of Culinary Arts 3 PVCC
Year 1 HRI158 Sanitation and Safety 3 PVCC
Year 1 HRI107 Intro to Culinary Arts II 3 PVCC
Year 2
HRI128Principles of Baking3PVCC
Year 2
First Aid/CPR
Year 2
Fruit, Vegetable and Starch Prep


Reynolds Community College

  • Culinary Arts, A.S.
  • Hospitality Management, A.S.
  • Pasty Arts (Career Studies Certificate)

Piedmont Virginia Community College

  • Applied Science

James Madison University

  • Hospitality Management, B.S.

Virginia Tech

  • Food Science Technology, B.S.
  • Human Nutrition, Foods, & Experience, B.S.
  • Hospitality & Tourism Management, B.S. (Business)

Johnson & Wales

Culinary Institute of Virginia

Culinary Institute of America 


  • Career Opportunity: Restaurant Chef

Direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and     cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.

  • National Wage Average: $41,610.00
  • Virginia Wage Average: $41,610.00
  • Projected Job Growth in Virginia: +8.4%
  • Career Opportunity: Dietitians & Nutritionists

Experts in the use of food & nutrition to promote health & manage disease. They advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related good.

  • National Wage Average: $59,410
  • Virginia Wage Average: $60,040
  • Projected Job Growth in Virginia: +20% 
  • Career Opportunity: Line Cooks

Cook, prepare, season, & cook a wide range of foods, which includes soups, salads, entrees, & desserts

  • National Wage Average: $21,720.00
  • Virginia Wage Average: $22,180.00
  • Projected Job Growth in Virginia: +4%