Culinary Arts

Program Overview

The Culinary Arts program prepares students for careers in today’s foodservice and hospitality industries. Successful graduates are ready for entry-level positions as prep cooks, line cooks, pastry cooks, cake decorators, or fine-dining restaurant servers, and can aspire to positions as chefs, pastry chefs, and restaurant managers.

Students learn safety, sanitation, knife skills, and culinary math. They prepare appetizers, salads, sandwiches, breakfast foods, stocks and soups, vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood, breads, cakes, pastries, and world cuisines. Advanced skills include dining room service, line cooking, menu and recipe development, and nutrition. Senior students operate the Carcajou Corner, our open-to-the-public, student-run restaurant.

DCTS Culinary Arts graduates are ready for immediate employment in restaurants, catering companies, institutional kitchens, or retail foodservice venues. Many choose to further their education through postsecondary training in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, or hospitality management.

Culinary Arts Student-Run Restaurant

Culinary Arts Chef Uniform Ordering

Culinary Arts Parent-Guardian Information

Skill Alignment Chart (Click to Expand)
Educational & Physical Attributes Expectations
Program Safety & Physical Considerations
  • Willingness and ability to follow industry safety rules for kitchen equipment, knives and other tools
  • Ability to work in a fast–paced environment with sense of urgency
  • Good personal hygiene
  • Willingness to adapt to industry standard hygiene & uniform requirements
  • Stamina needed to stand on feet for long periods of time
  • Ability to lift and carry items up to 50 pounds
  • Ability to work in a high temperature environment
Essential APTITUDES for this lab–Recommended Levels
  • Active listening skills
  • Ability to quickly follow verbal directions
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Manual dexterity
  • Dependable and punctual
  • Detail oriented
  • Works well under pressure
  • Teamwork
  • Explain the main ideas or draw accurate conclusions after reading text
  • Follow a complex multi–step procedure independently
  • Evaluate how key words and phrases shape meaning in texts
  • Comprehend written text and apply it to understand tables, charts, and other visuals
  • Learn and apply content–specific symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms correctly
  • Apply content–specific vocabulary correctly
  • Lean and apply French terms within a recipe
  • Learn and apply international and world language terms within a recipe
  • Identify and explain how different ideas connect throughout text
  • Read and understand diagnostic and schematic data to solve a problem
  • Compare & contrast information in a text
  • Summarize information from different written resources
  • By the end of grades 9–10 & 11–12 read & comprehend technical texts independently & proficiently
  • Textbook: On Cooking, Fifth Edition, Average grade reading level: 14.83
  • Textbook: On Baking, Third Edition, Average grade reading level: 12.7
  • Write with a sharp, distinct focus identifying topic, task, and audience
  • Develop and analyze the topic with relevant, well–chosen, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic
  • Use precise language, domain–specific vocabulary, and techniques such as analogy to manage the complexity of the topic
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone
  • Produce clear & coherent writing
  • Distinguish the viewpoint(s) from alternate or opposing viewpoints; supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both
  • Develop and strengthen writing by brainstorming, revising, editing & rewriting
  • Write with awareness to audience using program–specific vocabulary
  • Write routinely over short/long time frames for a range of tasks, purposes & audiences
  • Clearly convey with precision step–by–step work completed
  • Write fast–paced, accurate work reports
  • Use technology to produce, publish or share writing
Math Levels Numbers and Operations:

    • Grade 6 – Fluency in operations with whole numbers and decimals
    • Grade 6 – Fraction computations
    • Grade 7 – Fraction to decimal conversion
    • Grade 7 – Percent and ratio problems
    • Grade 8 – Decimals to rational number (fraction) conversion
    • Algebra 1 – Problem solving with real world units, including conversions


    • NG – Units: English Precision: Nearest 1/16 inch
    • Grade 6 – Unit conversion within and between measuring systems
    • Grade 7 – Area, volume surface area of objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, and right prisms
    • Grade 7 – Area and circumference of a circle

Geometric Concepts:

    • Grade 7 – Angle measure problems (supplementary, complementary, adjacent, angles of a triangle, parallel lines cut by transversal)
    • Grade 8 – Transformation properties and showing congruence/similarity

Data and Probability:

  • Grade 6 – Mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, and mean absolute deviation
  • Algebra 1 – Interpret data on various displays – use to make predictions
Theory Time
  • About 1.5 hours/day
  • About 2 hours/week
    • Lab reflections
    • Reading and annotation
    • Written assignments
Lab Time
  • About 4 hours/day
  • Weekly quizzes
  • Unit written exams
  • Unit hands–on exams
  • Projects
  • NOCTI (mandatory for all CTE programs)
POS Academics and Electives Recommended
  • English & Math are a component of the DCTS program
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Spanish and/or French
Study & Other Skills/Knowledge
  • Note taking skills
  • Memorization of terminology
  • Memorization of measurement equivalencies
Technology Skills/Knowledge
  • Use and navigate school–issued laptop
  • Web navigation
  • Email management
  • Navigate learning management system and instructional technology tools
  • Video conferencing
  • Learn and navigate food service point of sale system
Certifications Offered
  • OSHA 10 (Culinary)
  • ServSafe Food Handler
  • ServSafe Allergens
  • ServSafe Food Protection Manager
  • American Culinary Federation Certified Cook
Post–Secondary Options and Continuing Ed Option to pursue additional education in:

    • Culinary Arts (2 or 4 year degree)
    • Baking and Pastry Arts (2 or 4 year degree)
    • Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • Restaurant and Service Management
    • Local/state postsecondary schools (i.e. HACC, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Johnson and Wales University, Culinary Institute of America, Penn College of Technology)

SOAR Articulations

    • Montgomery County Community College – Central Campus (10 credits)
    • Delaware County Community College (9 credits)
    • Pittsburgh Technical College (9 credits)
    • Lackawanna College (9 credits)
    • Commonwealth Technical Institute (10 credits

Non–SOAR Articulations

  • Culinary Institute of America
  • The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College
  • Johnson and Wales University