Culinary Arts

bc culinary arts students in kitchen

Bakersfield College’s Culinary Arts provides students with a strong foundation in the culinary arts and the skills necessary to succeed in the food industry. The program combines hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art kitchen laboratory with a curriculum that covers a wide range of culinary techniques, culinary arts history and culture, food science, and food service management. Students in the program will learn to prepare a variety of dishes using fresh ingredients and contemporary techniques, as well as gain an understanding of the business side of the food industry, including cost control, menu design, and customer service.

bc culinary arts student cooking rice

What is Culinary Arts?

Culinary Arts is the study and practice of preparing, cooking, and presenting food. It encompasses a wide range of techniques, ingredients, and styles, from classical cuisine to contemporary cooking. Culinary arts professionals work in various settings, including restaurants, hotels, catering companies, and institutions such as schools and hospitals.

The field of culinary arts is constantly evolving and changing, with new techniques, ingredients, and equipment becoming available all the time. Culinary arts students learn not only how to prepare food, but also the science behind cooking, nutrition, menu planning, cost control, and customer service.

Is the Culinary Arts major for me?

Anyone who has a passion for food, cooking, and the culinary arts can be successful in a culinary arts program. Personal traits and skills that can make someone a good fit for studying culinary arts:

  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Physical dexterity
  • Organizational skills
  • Passion for food

While culinary arts can be a physically demanding field, with long hours and fast-paced work environments, for those who are passionate about food and cooking, a career in the culinary arts can be extremely rewarding.

Graduates of the program will be prepared for entry-level positions in the culinary arts and food service industries, as well as for transfer to four-year institutions for further study in culinary arts and hospitality management. Whether you're looking to start a new career in the food industry or improve your skills as a chef or culinary professional, Bakersfield College's Culinary Arts program is an excellent choice.

Culinary Arts Degrees and Certificates

chef cooking in a commercial kitchen

Bakersfield College Food & Nutrition Program is a comprehensive lecture, lab and field training program to produce competent, entry level food service workers for career positions in Kern County and throughout the United States. 

chef preparing a fancy dish

The goal of the curriculum is to provide a learning model that fosters the development of critical thinking, problem solving skills and skills attainment to ensure that the student is equipped to be productive in a commercial food service setting.

chefs preparing dishes with instructor

Food Service Management emphasizes quality food production in commercial and institutional operations. Course work includes practical training in the campus restaurant, the Renegade Room. 

two kitchen workers chopping vegetables

The Kitchen Techniques for New Culinarians Certificate of Completion (noncredit) provides an introduction to the culinary arts program. Students have the opportunity to explore commercial facilities and coursework involved in a culinary arts college program.

chef slicing a large pastry

The School Food Service Certificate of Completion (noncredit) provides professional development for those working in school food service operations. The training will provide students with necessary skills to advance into lead and management positions.

BC students walking and talking on campus
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Careers in Culinary Arts

Graduates of culinary arts programs with an Associate of Arts (AA) degree or a Certificate of Achievement can pursue a variety of careers in the food industry, including:

  • Chef: Chefs are responsible for overseeing the preparation and cooking of food in restaurants, hotels, and other food-service establishments.
  • Cook: Cooks work in commercial kitchens to prepare food to order, following recipes and cooking techniques to ensure consistent quality and presentation.
  • Kitchen Manager: Kitchen Managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a commercial kitchen, including ordering supplies, managing staff, and ensuring food safety and quality standards are met.
  • Baking and Pastry Chef: Baking and Pastry Chefs specialize in creating baked goods and desserts, from cakes and cookies to artisan breads and pastries.
  • Catering Manager: Catering Managers coordinate and manage catering events, from weddings and corporate functions to large-scale public events.
  • Food Service Manager: Food Service Managers are responsible for overseeing food service operations in institutions such as schools, hospitals, and prisons.
  • Entrepreneur: Many graduates of culinary arts programs choose to start their own businesses, such as food trucks, catering companies, or small restaurants.

These are just a few of the many career paths available. The specific opportunities available will depend on your education, experience, and location, but there is a growing demand for trained food service professionals. A career in the culinary arts can be both challenging and rewarding.

Academic Department: Family and Consumer Education

Career & Learning Pathway: Agriculture, Nutrition, and Culinary Arts

Courses: Food Services (FDSV) and Nutrition (NUTR)


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