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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

A colorful mixture of mango salsa is displayed on top of a cooking table in the culinary kitchen at McCutchen House.

Culinary Institute Certification Program

This year-long program is designed to support your culinary career success by including lectures, demonstrations and hands-on application of a comprehensive skills set.  Participants gain the confidence to elevate and effectively apply new culinary knowledge and skills.

The professional culinary certificaiton program is offered by the University of South Carolina's School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. It is designed for professionals seeking career development in the foodservice industry, while also providing an accessible and exciting challenge for home cooks looking to advance their personal culinary knowledge.

Course Rotation

All members of one class will be part of the same rotation. A rotation is a complete set of the 11 Culinary Institute courses, beginning with Safety and Sanitation and culminating with Baking Skills II.

Classes are held in the evenings on Mondays and Wednesdays OR Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. with some accommodations made for the schedules of our working chefs. Students will attend four-hour classes that incorporate a classroom lecture followed by a "hands-on" kitchen skills laboratory.

Fundamental Classes

Sanitation Management 
Explore the fundamentals of food and environmental sanitation as you examine the origins of foodborne illness and the implementation of HACCP. The National Restaurant Association ServeSafe exam will be administered in this course to fulfill the graduation requirement.

NRAEF ManageFirst Program (certification)
This program focuses on key competencies defined by today’s restaurant, hospitality and food service leaders. Serving as an additional certificate from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), you will develop skills to make yourself highly marketable.

Stocks, Sauces and Soups
This course will introduce you to the cooking techniques of simmering and boiling. Lecture, demonstration and production focus on stocks, sauces, soups and related ingredients, with an additional emphasis in proper use of knives, tools, smallwares and equipment.

Vegetables, Grains and Starches 
Learn about purchasing and evaluating freshness of vegetables and starches, along with storage and multiple cooking methods. You will also learn to identify and use various grains, starches and vegetables.

Skills of Meat Cutting
In this course, you will discuss purchasing, receiving, evaluating and proper storage procedures for poultry and meats. The emphasis for this class will be placed on primal and sub-primal cuts, federal inspections, grading, yields, as well as the classification of meats, poultry and game. Laboratory activities include hands-on fabrication of pork, beef, poultry and lamb.

Introduction to Baking and Pastry
Although these items are basic, they are essential as the foundation or accent for any meal. Production will include basic breads and rolls, starting with mixing, proofing and proper baking temperatures, laminated dough, muffins, quick breads, cookies and pies. Your primary focus will be proper use of the baker’s scale, liquid measurement and equipment identification.

New World Cuisine
You will be introduced to a variety of cooking techniques related to regional recipes, including grilling, roasting and deep-frying. Lecture, demonstration and production revolve around North, Central and South American cuisine, ingredients and plate presentations. Efficient production techniques are of utmost importance, which is why we also place emphasis on the proper use of knives and basic vegetable cuts.

Seafood, Fruits and Sandwiches
This is a trifecta of favorites! Come learn how to different methods for cooking seafood, while also learning store seafood properly. You will also master fruit preparation, traditional sandwich preparation and new ways of preparing and serving sandwiches. And, well… who doesn’t love a great sandwich?

Advanced Classes

International Cuisine
Travel the globe with us, as you are exposed to the preparation of foods from around the world — explore cuisines of Mexico and the Caribbean; Spain and Morocco; Italy; Eastern Europe; France, Greece and Turkey; India and Thailand; Japan, Korea and China. You will be introduced to stir-frying, and will apply and refine techniques learned in fundamental culinary classes.

Garde Manger
This advanced course will introduce you to modern and traditional techniques in the preparation of cold entrées, pâtés, terrines, salads and sushi. This course also concentrates on the practical techniques of platter design and presentations.

Advanced Patisserie/Dessert
You had me at dessert! Tantalize the taste buds of your patrons and guests through the production of creams, ice creams, sorbets, mousse, chocolate, strudel, phyllo, sauces and plated desserts. Daily presentation of individual desserts and creative plate presentation are featured.


Tuition Per Class: $550
One-time Fees 
There is an additional, one-time cost of approximately $200 for uniforms, books, and a knife set. Students are required to have these course materials prior to the start of the Stocks, Sauces and Soups course (the third course). You do not pay the university for these materials. You will be given ordering information at the first class. A registration of $300 will be applied to your last class of the rotation.

Total Tuition and Fees: $6,550
Military Veterans: GI Bill® benefits are accepted for this program. 

Withdrawal/Refund Policy: 
A withdrawal/refund request must be postmarked 14 business days prior to the beginning of a course in order to receive a refund, less a $100 processing fee. No refunds can be made after the course begins.


More Information

For more information, please contact the program director who will be happy to assist you.

George Hendry


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.