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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 certification program is offered by the University of South Carolina's School of Hospitality 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 10 Culinary Institute courses, beginning with Safety and Sanitation and culminating with Baking Skills II. Each class in the rotation consists of 32 hours of coursework. A complete rotation consists of 352 hours total coursework.

Classes are held at McCutchen House 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 

Students will explore the fundamentals of food and environmental sanitation as they 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), students will develop skills to make themselves highly marketable.

Stocks, Sauces and Soups 

This course will introduce students 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. Students will also learn to identify and use various grains, starches and vegetables.

Skills of Meat Cutting

In this course, students 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. Students' primary focus will be proper use of the baker’s scale, liquid measurement and equipment identification.

Seafood, Fruits and Sandwiches

This is a trifecta of favorites! Come learn about different methods for cooking seafood, while also learning how to store seafood properly. Students 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 and Regional Cuisine

Students 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. Internationally, we will expose students to a variety of other national cuisines that have been an inspiration to American Cuisine. Ingredients and plate presentations will be emphasized.

Garde Manger

This advanced course will introduce students 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 presentation.

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 a 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 first course. Students do not pay the university for these materials. Students will be given ordering information from the instructor prior to the first class.

Total Tuition and Fees: $5,750

The first and last class payment ($1,100) is due at the time of registration.

Military Veterans: GI Bill® benefits are accepted for this program. If you are planning to attend the Culinary Institute using VA benefits, you must contact George Hendry at 803-777-4402 or email at

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.


Contact Us

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.