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.

Hospitality Food & Beverage Management

You can learn your way around both the front and back of the house while you prepare for the challenge of bringing something new to the table for demanding consumers.

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

  • Culinary Instructor James McGrath

    James McGrath

    Culinary Arts

    "If you want to get better at something, do it over and over."

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    James McGrath

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

    When I graduated college and looked at my career options, they all involved sitting at a desk, working in an office. That wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. So I dove headlong into cooking, something I’d done part-time in school.

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

    The classroom will never be the same as a professional environment. But our responsibility as instructors is to help students develop good work habits. We simulate the kinds of problems and issues that happen in the industry, so that when students experience them in the real world, they’ll know how to handle them.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I encourage students to ask questions now, while they’re still in school. I want them to leave with confidence in what they’ve learned so they can succeed in their careers.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    When students work in teams, each one looks at the project from a different angle. They each offer a different perspective. And when they bring all those perspectives together, the end result is better work.

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

    Practice. If you want to get better at something, do it over and over.

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

    Don't be too hard on yourself. Judge your work based on how it’s improved since the last time you critiqued it.

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  • General Education Program Coordinator Woodrow Wilson Wagner III

    Woodrow Wilson Wagner III

    Graphic & Web Design

    "I want to elevate the intellectual spirit of my students to help them exercise their freedom as active participants in the society around them."

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    Woodrow Wilson Wagner III

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

    Teaching my first college class, in the fall of 1999.

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

    When I worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., I used political communication methods to respond to constituents and brief members of Congress and media outlets on legislation. In the classroom, I use some of those same methods to help students connect the theories of communication to the actual practice. Students have often commented how analyzing the words of politicians, entertainers, and religious leaders applies to their real-world endeavors.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My media and political communication lessons are designed to help students appraise the impact of advertisers, lobbyists, politicians, interest groups, and constituents. I want them to learn how to use communication to exercise their freedom, understand the needs of diverse groups, and create unique and innovative solutions to make their community a better place.

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

    I’m reminded of the words of President Woodrow Wilson, who said, “We are not men because we have skill of hand, but we are men because we have an elevation of spirit. It is in the spirit that we live and not merely in the task of the day.” My greatest goal as an educator has been to elevate the spirit of my students by helping them become proficient communicators in the real world. I want to elevate the intellectual spirit of my students to help them exercise their freedom as active participants in the society around them.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    As the workplace becomes more culturally, behaviorally, educationally, and philosophically diverse, more versatile communication is essential to students’ success. I teach them to appreciate their own communication styles and the styles of others, and to use this knowledge to develop far more effective and productive working relationships.

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  • General Education Instructor Mark Emerson

    Mark Emerson

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Be prepared. be professional. Be ready to work."

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    Mark Emerson

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

    I’m very fortunate to be able to produce artwork outside of the classroom that I can share with students. I think it’s helpful for them to see the process that I use.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I assign a series of projects that build upon each other to encourage students to grow their abilities. By mid-term, in my drawing class in particular, they're able to translate what they're learning into producing their own work.

    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

    As an example, the window assignments with visual merchandising force students to push themselves creatively in ways that they haven’t before. After completing the assignment, they’re extremely proud to have work they can add to their portfolio

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

    Be prepared. Be professional. Be ready to work. Be on time. Be better than your competition.

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  • Media Arts Instructor Mikiya Okada

    Mikiya Okada

    Media Arts & Animation

    "You have to learn to produce a high-quality product in a limited amount of time."

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    Mikiya Okada

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

    I’ve enjoyed creating things ever since my grandma taught me how to draw a cartoon figure.

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

    I learned so many things in school that I later realized were true in the industry. I share much of that with my students.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I always give assignments that, in addition to being the most effective way to build knowledge, I actually enjoy doing myself.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    One of the things students learn through collaboration is that there are so many career possibilities. They realize that things they learn in their own area of study could actually help them succeed in another profession.

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

    Everybody can be great at everything if they spend enough time at it. But time is a luxury that no industry really has. You have to learn to produce a high-quality product in a limited amount time.

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