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Culinary Program

Spices and Spoons

About Our Culinary Program

The Culinary Arts Program is designed to prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills required for food production and service occupations.

Students completing this program will possess the technical knowledge and skills required for planning, selecting, storing, purchasing, preparing, and serving quality food products. In addition, students will exam nutritional food values, practice safety and sanitation procedures in the kitchen, proper use of commercial equipment, serving techniques, creating special diets, and management of food establishments.

Student-Acquired Skills

Students in this program acquire a great set of skills that can be used in their everyday lives:

  • Safety and Sanitation (Arizona Food Handler's Card)
  • Knife Skills
  • Measuring
  • Baking and Pastry
  • Front of the House
  • Cooking Methods
  • Time Management
  • Nutrition
  • Recipe Reading and Writing
  • Trying New Things

Culinary Course Plan

Culinary 1-2

This class encourages the students to step outside of their culinary comfort zone and try something new. The students will be introduced to a wide variety of foods from various cultures around the world. Students will learn professional skills that will help them be successful in the “real world.” There will also be a variety of projects each student will participate in to get a better understanding of the course standards. The students participate in a big project each quarter. The Iron Chef competition is a favorite.

Culinary 3-4

Students must have completed and scored a 70 percent or higher in the Culinary 1-2 course to be eligible for this program. Building on fundamental concepts, skills, and techniques, emphasis is placed on practical experiences including recipe conversion, measurements, terminology, classical knife cuts, safe food/equipment handling, flavorings/seasonings, stocks/ sauces/soups, and related topics. Students will get an opportunity to prepare for employment in the culinary industry by developing a resume and learning the important skills used to master interviews in any job setting.

Culinary 5-6

This class prepares students for careers in culinary and commercial food preparation. It includes advanced instruction in kitchen equipment, organization and operations, quality control, quantity food preparation and advanced cooking skills in gourmet and ethnic foods. Students develop leadership and community service skills through participation in a career technical student organization (CTSO).

Successful Career Pathways

  • Prep Cook/Line Cook
  • Restaurant Server/Host
  • Baker/Bakery Owner
  • Hotel Kitchen Operations
  • Fast Food Operations
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Restaurant Owner
  • Executive Chef
  • Food Blogger
  • Resort Manager
  • Food Truck Owner
  • Food Scientist

Culinary Instructor

Barbara Burt
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   Barbara Burt

Instructor Bio

I have been teaching Culinary Arts for the past 6 years, and prior to teaching, I was the owner of a chocolate manufacturing business. When I started teaching at Cactus Shadows High School, I worked with special needs students teaching them life skills, which included preparing food for themselves. I was asked to start a culinary program at the same school, and for the 3 years I was there, we had a waiting list of over 200 students for the program. After leaving Cactus Shadows, I taught at North Canyon High School where I taught all levels of culinary from beginning to advanced. My students competed in State Competitions, and I am proud to say that one student won the Silver award and another the Bronze. This year, I have joined the Shadow Mountain family replacing a teacher that retired. I have started the FCCLA student group and expect to have a group of students competing this year! My goal is to have students develop a love and appreciation for the art of cooking and that they carry that skill with them as they move forward in life.