Culinary & Hospitality Program
Associate of Applied Science • 60 Credit Hours
The hospitality and food service industry is a large, diverse field that provides challenging and exciting career opportunities for people from all walks of life.
The possibilities for satisfying careers are almost limitless. The rewards and satisfaction provided by the industry far exceed those of many other fields of work.
The Mountwest Culinary Arts curriculum is designed to develop and provide students with an intensive professional and practical experience and background with a hands-on approach. The program is a blend of in-class lecture theory and hands-on lab practice. This blend of both teaching methods ensures that students graduate with well-rounded expertise in knife skills, food production, charcuterie cuts, dessert, and even pastry baking. All of these skills are learned and mastered under food productions industry health guidelines. Students obtain practical experience in hygiene and sanitation, preparation of menus, as well as preparation and storage of sauces, meats, and desserts. Students are eligible to sit for the ServSafe® Food Manager certification exam as well.
Graduates will be employed in the field, a related field, or pursuing an advanced degree.
Graduates will demonstrate skills and knowledge appropriate for success in the culinary arts.
Graduates will be satisfied that the curriculum has prepared them for success in the field or a related field, or for the pursuit of an advanced degree.
Chefs and Head Cooks
2019 Median Pay
$51,530 per year
Number of Jobs
139,000 in 2018
Much faster than average employment.
The college adheres to an open admission policy which means applications with a high school diploma or GED are eligible for admission. Applicants with neither a high school diploma nor GED may be admitted on a conditional basis.
Chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers prepare, season, and cook a wide range of foods from soups, snacks, and salads to entrees, side dishes, and desserts in a variety of restaurants and other food services establishments. Chefs and cooks create recipes and prepare meals, while food preparation workers peel and cut vegetables, trim meat, prepare poultry, and perform other duties such as keeping work areas clean and monitoring temperatures of ovens and stovetops.
Employment of chefs and head cooks is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Income growth will result in greater demand for high-quality dishes at a variety of dining venues. As a result, more restaurants and other dining places are expected to open to satisfy consumer desire for dining out.
Consumers are continuing to demand healthier meals made from scratch in restaurants, in cafeterias, in grocery stores, and by catering services. To ensure high-quality dishes, these establishments are increasingly hiring experienced chefs to oversee food preparation.