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Online Courses in the Culinary Field
The following overviews describe some commonly offered online culinary courses.
- Basics of Purchasing and Product Identification: In this course, students learn about the process of purchasing merchandise for the restaurant and hospitality industry. Topics of study include pricing and payments, security and storage, food and non-food product specifications, distribution systems, ordering procedures and supplier chains.
- Management of Food and Beverage Operations: Students gain an understanding of the hospitality business from purchasing to marketing, with an emphasis on methods of cost control for products and labor. The online coursework covers the analysis of costs through menu pricing and planning, purchasing, forecasting and quality assurance.
- Advanced Menu Analysis Course: This course teaches students the importance of researching market trends and their effect on the commercial food service industry. Focus is also on analyzing how current menu designs affect different food service operations. Students use menu design techniques to create engaging menus as part of their online assignments.
- Basics of Nutrition Course: This course teaches students basic human nutrition, emphasizing the necessity of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids for energy. Students learn how to ensure that they have and maintain nutritional balance with adequate vitamins and minerals. They also study the harm that can develop from nutrient deficiencies.
- Food and Culture Course: The dynamics of food and culture are explored in this course as students learn about the foods associated with different ethnic groups. This course helps students recognize the importance of understanding cultural diversity in the food and hospitality industry.
- Food Science Course: Students learn about the chemical and physical properties and characteristics of food; the online course may utilize video demonstrations. The coursework examines different food preparation techniques used to enhance these properties, keeping health and nutrition in mind.
- Introductory Knife Skills Course: In this course, students will learn the basic uses and techniques for different knives in the kitchen. The course will also cover best kitchen safety practices, as well as blade care and sharpening information.
- Stocks, Sauces and Soups Course: This course covers the ingredients and cooking techniques used to prepare stocks, sauces and soups. Students also learn how to design buffets and set them up for food-related events.
- Meat Course: This course familiarizes students with preparation methods for meats including beef, lamb and pork. Students learn to identify cuts of meat, cook them appropriately and plate them in an appealing way.
Online culinary courses are offered at many colleges, vocational schools and universities as part of their culinary programs. While some culinary courses may be offered fully online, others may require on-the-job training on campus or at eligible restaurants. Students enrolled in online culinary courses can earn diplomas and certificates or pursue degrees, such as an associate's degree in hospitality and restaurant management or bachelor's degree in culinary management. Some degree programs, such as a B.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management and a B.S. in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management, are designed for students who have earned an associate degree in baking and pastry arts or in culinary arts. These online degree-completion programs build on students' prior hands-on experience and allow them to advance to a 4-year degree.
Depending on the school and course, online learning materials are offered in various formats, including streaming audio and video files, Web conferencing, webinars, recorded material and class lectures. Students' computers should have up-to-date operating systems and software to support the different learning delivery methods. Students may also need basic kitchen equipment and ingredients to practice and refine new techniques and recipes.
Individuals who are interested in getting jobs in the culinary industry, whether in food preparation or establishment management, can find relevant course offerings online.