Basic Culinary Arts

Please visit our new Culinary Arts / Hospitality page and Nutrition page


The Basic Culinary Arts program prepares students for many contemporary employment opportunities. These include Chef, Cook, Specialty and Ethnic Restaurant Operations, Food and Beverage Service, Fast Foods Operations, and Food Service in schools and day-care centers for the young and elderly.

Saddleback College offers certificate and associate degree programs that will prepare you for entry into Food Service industry occupations.

   Award Types

Associate in Science Degree

Completion of the certificate program and a minimum of 60 units including the general education requirements with an overall GPA of 2.0 qualifies the student for the Associate in Science degree. A minimum of 12 units must be completed at Saddleback College.

Certificate of Achievement

The awarding of a Certificate of Achievement acknowledges to the recipient and the potential employer that all courses in an approved occupational program have been completed. The courses are chosen by the faculty on the basis of determination of educational experiences which lead to vocational competency.

Students with previous educational or vocational experience who wish to waive a course on the certificate list may be expected to verify equivalency through examination. Petitions for course waivers or substitutions are available in both the Office of Admissions and Records and the Counseling Office. When waivers and substitutions have been approved, a minimum of 18 units must be included in the certificate program.

The Certificate of Achievement is issued upon the completion of the following:

  1. The required courses in the certificate area.
  2. A minimum of twelve (12) units in residence at Saddleback College. At least one course required in the certificate must be completed at Saddleback College.


It is the student's responsibility to make a formal application for the Certificate of Achievement to the Office of Admissions and Records.


  • Entry-Level Positions include:
    • Fast Foods Operations
    • Food and Beverage Service
    • Food Service in Schools
    • Food Service in Day Care Centers for the Young and Elderly
    • Food Service Businesses
    • Dietary Aid
  • With Further Education and Experience:
    • Food Concession Manager
    • Food Service Management
    • Specialty and Ethnic Restaurant Operation


Title Annual
Cook $25,375-$32,239*
Combined Food Preparation & Service Worker $19,610-$25,115**
*55.61% of jobs held by people with certificate/associate degree
**83.71% of jobs held: education level certificate/associate degree



National Restaurant Association:
American Culinary Federation:
American Personal & Private Chef Association:


High School Community College University
  • Culinary Arts
  • Food Science
  • Hospitality
  • Tourism
  • Culinary Arts
  • Hospitality
  • Management
  • Recreation Management
  • Culinology
  • Dietetics
  • Food Science
  • Hospitality
  • Hotel Management
  • Nutrition

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate preparation for employment in the food service industry.
  • Demonstrate practical skills in a wide variety of applications related to the food service.
  • Demonstrate proficient safety and sanitation production practices as related to the food service industry.



Curriculum changes as industry standards transform. Please refer to the Saddleback College Catalog website as the following requirements may have changed since this webpage was published.


Course ID Title Units
CWE 180*† Cooperative Work Experience: Foods and Nutrition 2
FN 261*† Internship 1
FN 50 Fundamentals of Nutrition 3
FN 205 Nutrition for Culinary Professionals 3
FN 110* Food Preparation Essentials 3
FN 120* Contemporary Meals 3
FN 171 Sanitation and Safety 2
FN 210 Servsafe in Food Production 1
FN 240* Culinary Principles I 3
FN 241* Culinary Principles II 3
FN 244* Baking Fundamentals I 3
FN 246* Pantry 3
Select from Restricted Electives 4-6
Total 29-32



Course ID Title Units
FN 220* French Bistro Cuisine 2
FN 222* Chinese Cuisine 2
FN 226* Mexican Cuisine 2
FN 227* Mediterranean Cuisine 2
FN 230* Vegetarian Cuisine 2
FN 236* American Regional Cuisine 2

*Course has a prerequisite, corequisite, limitation, or recommended preparation; see course description.
†Recommended to be taken in last semester of program.

Suggested coursework not required for the major: BUS 104*, 135, 136, 160; FCS 115, 142; FN 64, 140*, 142*, 160.

For more information contact Lisa Inlow.