Culinary Assistant

Culinary Assistant

Technical Diploma

Learn basic theory and techniques of food production and service through a combination of lecture, demonstration, and hands-on experience. The program is designed to prepare you for entry-level employment in the food service industry wherever food is prepared in quantity.

Graduates of the program may transfer their credits into Nicolet's Culinary Arts program to earn an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts.Skillful cooks are essential to the success of food service establishments, and they contribute significantly to clients' enjoyment in restaurants, supper clubs, hotels, resorts, hospitals, schools, and residential facilities.

  • rushing plates to service
  • Culinary student finishing dessert
  • Culinary student preparing in kitchen

    Program Outline

    Term 1
    Course # Course Title Credits
    1031611500 Culinary Math

    Application of math procedures used by preparation, service, and management personnel in food service operations. Students solve problems in recipe sizing, costing and conversion, measurements, and equivalents, controlling costs, forms, and reports.

    1080119500 Written Communication

    Develops writing skills which include prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. A variety of writing assignments is designed to help the learner analyze audience and purpose, research and organize ideas, and format and design documents based on subject matter and content. Also develops critical reading and thinking skills through the analysis of a variety of written documents.

    1031612500 Culinary Principles

    Food science principles applied to professional culinary food preparation. Units include professional kitchen operation, recipe terminology, and cooking techniques for various food categories.

    1031612600 Culinary Applications

    Provides practical experience applying food science principles in food preparation, analysis, and evaluation of preparation techniques. Prerequisites: 1031612500 Culinary Principles (C or better) (concurrent enrollment allowed) and 1031612100 Sanitation and Safety Fundamentals (C or better) (concurrent enrollment allowed).

    1031612200 Sanitation and Safety Basics

    Learn basic principles of sanitation and safety in order to maintain a safe and healthy food service environment. The course presents laws and regulations related to safety, fire, and sanitation and how to adhere to them in the food service operation. Successful completion of the course enables students to take a national sanitation certification examination.

    Term 2
    Course # Course Title Credits
    1080119600 Oral Interpersonal Communication

    Focuses upon developing speaking, verbal and nonverbal communications, and listening skills through individual presentations, groups activities, and other projects.

    1031611200 Garde Manger Basics

    Methods and techniques of preparing and presenting food specialties created in the garde manger department are practiced. Hors d'oeuvres, salads, garnishing, food displays, charcuterie, and culinary competition units are included.

    1031613000 Nutrition

    Basic nutritional principles are applied to responsible food preparation in the food service industry. Recipe analysis, modification, and menu planning for clientele are discussed.

    1031614000 Food Practicum I

    Cafeteria style restaurant service applying principles, methods, and practices of professional food production. Students rotate weekly to kitchen and dining room stations. Prerequisites: 1031612100 Sanitation and Safety Fundamentals (C or better) and 1031612500 Culinary Principles (C or better) and 1031612600 Culinary Applications (C or better).

    1031614100 Food Practicum II

    A'la carte restaurant service applying principles, methods, and practices of professional food production. Students rotate weekly to kitchen and dining room stations. Prerequisite: 1031614000 Food Practicum I (C or better) (concurrent enrollment allowed).


    At A Glance

    How You'll Learn


    On Campus



    Term Start Dates

    Fall 2024: August 26 Spring 2025: January 13 Summer 2025: May 19

    Start dates represent the beginning of a new term. Certain programs or courses may not be available to start every term. Please view the course schedules for a list of upcoming classes or contact the Welcome Center at 715-365-4493.

    Program Tuition*


    Books & Supplies*


    *Total cost for degree completion is estimated by current course requirements, books, and supplies. Tuition and fees are set by the Wisconsin Technical College System and subject to change.

    Financial Aid Eligible

    You may experience these additional costs, not charged by Nicolet, estimated based on length of program.

    Personal Expenses

    What You'll Learn

    • Apply principles of safety and sanitation in food service operations
    • Apply basic principles of nutrition
    • Demonstrate basic culinary skills
    • Assist in food service management
    • Plan menus
    • Explore food service financial information

    Your Potential Careers

    • Short Order Cook
    • Line Cook
    • Assistant Baker
    • Pantry Person
    • Dietary Aide
    • Caterer Assistant
    • School Food Service Worker
    • Deli Worker/Cook
    • Prep Cook
    • Institutional Food Worker
    • Food Preparation/Professional

    Median Annual Salary

    $24,724 $24,592 $27,562
    Local State National

    Lightcast 2023.1

    Get Started

    Your application can be submitted online, it takes just a few minutes to complete.

    Culinary student food prepping

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