Culinary

Culinary

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Bring your talent to the table.

If you want to enrich the world with your talent for creating amazing cuisine—or ambiance—start by experiencing everything from kitchen skills to international flavors.

Program Areas

Baking & Pastry Program Image

Baking & Pastry

Rachel Shelton

Digital Photography , 2013

The Art Institute of Colorado

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Use your talent and passion to turn desserts into works of art. You’ll explore everything from plating to preparing confections to managing a commercial kitchen.

Culinary_Arts

Culinary Arts

Rachel Shelton

Digital Photography , 2013

The Art Institute of Colorado

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Starting with fundamentals like kitchen tools and culinary techniques, you’ll explore more than 20 of the most popular international flavors and techniques.

Culinary Management Program

Culinary Management

Prepare to run both the kitchen and the front of the house, using your passion for food and your head for business to create a memorable dining experience.

Ai students welcomed at The James Beard House

Six culinary students from The Art Institutes system of schools assisted in the preparation of Thanksgiving Day dinner at New York City’s prestigious James Beard House. Learn more about how they earned this opportunity and what they hope to have learned from their five days of immersion in the Big Apple’s culinary scene.

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Meet our Faculty

  • Fashion Honors Group Instructor & Coordinator Chrisa Tatakis

    Chrisa Tatakis

    Fashion Marketing & Management

    "Do what you love. And remember that hard work really does pay off."

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    Chrisa Tatakis

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I always knew I wanted to teach. I could never separate my love for fashion from my love for art. To me, they’re one and the same.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    As a former lead designer in women's wear and children's wear, my industry experience covers everything from design, branding, and fabric and textile selection to product development, sourcing, even designing sales catalogs. In this way, I can share my knowledge all across the spectrum, and help guide students along their career path.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I instruct and coordinate the Fashion Honors Group. These students work with real industry professionals, both on and off campus. They produce a fashion show, working with clients and reaching out to designers, models, hair and makeup artists, photographers, and volunteer committees. They supervise hair, makeup, and model fittings, choose runway music, promote the event, dress the models, and rehearse the show. It’s hands-on and real-world, and it’s a valuable experience.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    When we put on a fashion show, we try to get the whole school involved. Fashion students might direct Photography students on the specific look they’re after. We also work with students from Video Production, Graphic Design, and other fields. Collaborating across other programs really helps students strengthen their skills and abilities.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Always be professional in how you present yourself and your work. Aways be on time and meet your deadlines.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Do what you love and remember that hard work really does pay off.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Inspiring, guiding, and helping students to fulfill their dreams is the best feeling in the world.

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  • Graphic Design Instructor Frank Balzano

    Frank Balzano

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Be responsible. Be accountable. And welcome to reality."

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    Frank Balzano

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I've always loved all forms of art from as far back as high school. Later, I applied my fine art skills to commercial enterprises, creating mural designs, posters, and ads, as well as stage designs for corporate presentations. The door was always open and lucrative within the graphic design field. I've always felt it let me experience a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I show students my portfolio to give them a sense of the kind of work they’ll be expected to do in their project assignments. We discuss my real-world experiences with clients, both good and bad, to help them develop a practical, professional approach to doing business, pricing, and learning time management. Also, I encourage students to enhance their technological skills to keep up with the industry.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My class assignments reflect my approach to teaching, mentoring and education. I incorporate the industry of design, print production, the digital arena, and the background technology, and tie it all together to help students create work that's worthy of their portfolios. I've seen innumerable success stories, and I’ve have always relished the opportunity to be a part of their success.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Collaboration is mandatory. In every project, the "account executive" acts as liaison between client and graphic designer, photographer, web designer, illustrator, copywriter, and so on. Everyone knows who's doing what, and group critique ensures the success of the project. Often, we see the design develop into something way beyond what the client initially approved.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Here’s my philosophy, which has sustained me through the years: The principles of success are grounded in a firm base of hard work and dedication. Students are responsible and accountable for the success of their own education. There are no free rides or free grades. All grades are earned. Work hard and be diligently dedicated.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Be responsible. Be accountable. And welcome to reality.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I’ve had the honor and pleasure of teaching, working with, energizing, and inspiring students since 1986.

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  • Digital Filmmaking & Video Production Instructor Kyle W. Farley

    Kyle W. Farley

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production

    "The opportunity to connect with audiences in meaningful ways has never been more exciting."

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    Kyle W. Farley

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    That would be when I became program director for the college TV station at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I learned to produce entertainment, sports and news programming for the broadcast market. It was hectic, overwhelming, and unbelievably exciting for a 19-year-old. I soon realized that my dream of a TV and film career could become a reality.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I incorporate my 30 years of real-world experience into class projects to help transform students from filmviewers into filmmakers. I encourage them to explore a variety of filmmaking techniques and see for themselves which options work best on any given production. Casting talent, organizing crew, scouting locations, renting camera gear, dealing with weather issues, applying for permits, gathering releases, overcoming time and budget limitations...filmmakers face those challenges every day. So when students overcome those same hurdles, they become more confident—and more prepared for the professional world.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    A student might have hundreds of good ideas. What matters is what they do with those ideas. My students take their ideas through the entire production process, from script to screen. By building on their creativity thorough the process, they learn that a good idea plus careful execution can equal a successful career in the film business.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Films are never made by a single person—and we wouldn't want them to be. From writer to director to editor, many opinions and lots of hard work go into the production. By pooling talents from disciplines like fashion, audio, visual effects and design, a film can appear to have a much higher production value than the budget allows. Through teamwork, each individual's talents contribute to the film's overall success.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Today, all you need is a cell phone camera and editing software on your tablet to call yourself a filmmaker. What does that mean for filmmaking as a career choice? Has filmmaking been killed by Vimeo and YouTube? Not if we elevate filmmaking to something new. Students need to be daring and challenge themselves to change the way we look at films and TV. With new media outlets forming every day and screens popping up everywhere, the opportunity to connect with audiences in meaningful ways has never been more exciting.

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