CAC’s Culinary Program: An Artform

Miranda Martinez, Cactus Contributor

I asked a handful of people who attend Central Arizona College what classes they know are offered here at the school and amazingly, not many were aware we had a Culinary Program. To be fair, I didn’t know until I became friends with someone who is in the Culinary Program. After speaking with her about the class, I found out some interesting facts about getting into the program. For example, the Culinary Program requires math and reading classes, along with a large handful of classes that are both specific to which culinary program you are in and required for the major. It’s not a piece of cake like a lot of people believe. It requires a lot of hard work, and hours of being on your feet cooking, and volunteering, to accomplish your goals.

To get into the program you need to have declared Culinary Arts as your major, and there are two prerequisites that are required first. The prerequisites are RDG 094 and MAT 082. You are required to pass both classes with a C or higher and fill out the Culinary Arts application promptly and efficiently. The application requirements have tare three-fold: a five-hundred-word essay about your short and long term goals as a Culinarian; transcripts; and proof of major declaration. When these steps are complete, you must turn it into the head chef of the campus you are attending. That chef will look over your transcripts and essay and decide whether to accept you into the program or not. Like any other program or job application it must be professionally done, well written and handed in early to allow them to review it.

If you are accepted into the Culinary Program you must register for one of the two basic classes, Baking and Pastry 1 or Culinary Principles and Applications 130. These classes are usually not offered at the same campus during the same semester. The culinary classes actually rotate between three of the five campuses; Signal Peak, San Tan, and Maricopa. Classes that last for four hours can be difficult for some students, especially those who have prior commitments. The culinary classes available at CAC range from cooking a variety of foreign cuisines, to baking classes, as well as several others. All of these classes are core components required for the Culinary Arts degree and they are all worth one credit, while the others range from one to three.

I was able to interview a close friend of mine, Kaylie Lanning, to let her share her experience in the program. “I have taken a few culinary classes in my first year in the program. I have taken Culinary Principles and Applications 130, Italian cuisine, French cuisine, Cake Decorating, Cakes, Fillings, and Frostings. I am currently taking Baking and Pastry I, and a new online culinary science based class, Applied Food Science.” She speaks highly of the program and recommends it for any students that want to be pursue a culinary career. “I would definitely recommend the program to others. They are helping me reach my goals. I’ve already learned a lot. My goal is to open up my own bakery and cafe in Sweden. And I want to be a pâtissier (pastry chef).”

The program is difficult like many other programs, but worth the time and effort.}