Request a Brochure

Change Location
Art Institutes

Culinary

Culinary student competes for top recipe in "The Meal Through the Arts."

Gabrielle Cortes (BS, Culinary Management) competed with 11 other students from Art Institute campuses across the country in The Meal Through the Arts, a culinary showcase competition highlighting the students’ original recipes. Watch the recorded live stream, as they presented their dishes to an esteemed panel of judges and enjoy their recipes at The Art Institute of San Antonio May 14-18.

Watch

Program Areas

The Art Institute of San Antonio Baking & Pastry School

Baking & Pastry

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.

The Art Institute of San Antonio Culinary Arts School

Culinary Arts

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 at The Art Institute of San Antonio

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.

San Antonio Hospitality Management Degree

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.

Meet our Faculty

  • Christina M. Perrington, CEC

    Christina M. Perrington, CEC

    Culinary Arts

    Do what you love... life's too short not to enjoy it.

    Read More
    Christina M. Perrington, CEC

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

    While I was serving during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, I learned that one person could make a difference. I was a food service sergeant preparing meals for the soldiers in my unit. I used my years of experience and my creativity to make sure everything they ate was the best it could be. Good food boosts morale...and it’s my first love.

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

    I use my life and professional experiences—good and bad—to add context to classroom lessons and help students better understand the material. My stepmother is from Vietnam, and I’ve traveled to many countries in Asia, which is why I specialize in Asian Cuisine.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I ask students to build a business plan...I love teaching the purchasing and cost-control aspect of it. I try to relate all the material to students’ everyday lives. Most of my students don’t like math, so I give them as many resources as possible to help them feel more confident with the project.

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

    They have a wonderful opportunity to work with students from other programs in their business plans, portfolios and menu design—not to mention the chance to make friends for life.

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

    My life philosophy is that the more I know, the more I know I don’t know. Life is really just an education outside the classroom. I love teaching students about food, which is my passion

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

    Do what you love...life’s too short not to enjoy it.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I’ve been in the culinary industry for over 35 years, and I’ve seen many changes in the industry. But one thing has stayed the same: success takes hard work and perseverance. Food may be a necessity of life, but it’s also my passion. And it’s an honor to be able to teach what I love.

    Read More...
  • Gary Rice

    Gary Rice, MBA

    Culinary Arts

    "Be true to yourself and work hard."

    Read More
    Gary Rice, MBA

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

    When I was 20 years old and recovering from a life-threatening illness, I began to see my life differently. I spent the better part of two years in physical, occupational, and speech therapy. After recovery I decided to take on a new challenge...to take my love of cooking and make a career out of it.

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

    With over two decades in the hospitality industry, I have plenty of real-world experience to share in the classroom. It all works into discussions on motivation, self-discipline, and pride. I use my contacts in the San Antonio area to bring in guest lecturers, take students on trips to hotels and restaurants, and bring them to seminars and restaurant association events where they can begin doing some networking.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I love to teach Capstone. It’s an all-encompassing class that lets me see just how much student have learned in my program. Watching them during their cooking practical shows me where the school is in terms of attention to teaching the core basics.

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


    Listen, ask questions, and stay current with trends and technology. Be true to yourself and work hard. Work in as many different places as you can when you’re young... explore the industry, then settle down and make a career of what you love best.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    As a program chair, I treat every student and every one of my team members as if they were family.

    Read More...
  • Gregory Williams

    Gregory Williams, MBA, CEC

    Culinary Arts

    Never stop learning, and don't be afraid to fail.

    Read More
    Gregory Williams, MBA, CEC

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

    When I was around five years old, my brother and I opened a “restaurant” at our house for our friends. We set the kitchen floor on fire with a flaming grilled cheese sandwich. I’ve been cooking ever since.

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

    I‘ve enjoyed plenty of success in this industry, but it’s my failures that I like to bring up in class. Students need to know that, as professionals, they’ll fail at something. The key is to not let it get you down...and to learn from every mistake, and every failure.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    It’s not a single assignment, but a class called À La Carte. I take a hands-off, advisory role and let the students take control of our student restaurant. The students help devise the menu, lay out the kitchen, and experience running an actual restaurant. When they’re empowered, when they’re praised for a job well done, students take the extra steps—and, in many cases, perform beyond their own perceived limits.

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

    Many culinarians think that being a great cook is all it takes to succeed. Not true. All great restaurants work with other talented creative professionals to bring their vision to life. It takes photographers, graphic designers, web designers, interior designers, and more to create a restaurant. We’re all good at what we do, but few are good at everything. Collaboration lets each person play to their strengths to create something great.

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

    Never stop learning, and don’t be afraid to fail. That’s the advice I’d give my younger self if I had the chance. The first part is simple—you can never learn too much. In our industry you can bet that your competition is up late doing research, practicing, or checking out new trends. Don’t lose out because you weren’t educated.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I always say that getting into teaching was my happy accident. I never thought I’d be in this role, and I’m glad I was given the chance. Being a part of people’s education, growth, and lifelong success is a great honor.

    Read More...
  • Woods HS

    Mary Catherine Woods

    Baking & Pastry

    "Collaboration is essential in the kitchen. If one person falls behind, the whole kitchen falls behind."

    Read More
    Mary Catherine Woods
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Baking and Pastry wasn’t my very first choice when I went to college. Growing up, like many Pastry Chefs, I always loved to create desserts and experiment at home. I never really thought I could make it a career.  After graduating with a BS in Merchandising and Management from The University of Wisconsin, I went to work for a company in Atlanta within the wholesale industry. As time went on, my passion and interest in Baking and Pastry continued to grow. The restaurant scene in Atlanta was on the rise, and I found myself being drawn more to the culinary scene than my current career. I researched culinary schools, and I enrolled at The Art Institute of Atlanta. Once I started school, I ended my merchandising career and started working in restaurants. For me, it wasn’t one defining moment, but more of a progression and building of a passion.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

    While we have a structured program, I am still able to show them different ways of producing or presenting different recipes. They need to know that just because the recipe states one way, many Chefs may produce it in another way. Simply telling them stories of my times in the industry allows them to ask questions that may not be otherwise asked and weaves into what we are producing at that time. I also take times during class to treat them as though they are my cooks and we have a certain menu to create and have done and presented by certain time, as though we are industry.  

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?


    Many students have the passion for this career, but at the same time can become overwhelmed once they are in the classroom. I try to break it down for them in terms they understand, as well as relate it to real life situations. Taking the time to work with them one on one as much as possible gives me an insight as to how they work, the way they organize, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. From here I try to help them turn their weaknesses into strengths, which in turn builds their confidence and they see just how much they can accomplish.

    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?


    Collaboration is essential in the kitchen. If one person falls behind, the whole kitchen falls behind. Constant communication within a team is crucial, and is something I try to ingrain in students. Asking for help is not weakness, it’s strength. When the students are in groups, it only reinforces what type of environment they will be working in.  

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    To be a team player, listen, and ask for help when needed. Learn from your fellow cooks and Chefs. Not only will you learn skills that will advance you to the next level, but you may also learn what NOT to do when you climb the ranks in the kitchen. Always observe and never stop learning. Even when you graduate and are in the industry, go to other kitchens to do a stage for a day or two. You will be amazed at what you learn from other people, and in turn will help you grow.

    Read More...
  • Mike Buttles HS

    Mike Buttles

    Culinary Arts

    "One of the greatest assets of what we do is that culinary is the world’s most portable profession."

    Read More
    Mike Buttles
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    My first position, after graduating from the University of South Florida in rhetoric and public address (speech), was as a property manager and trainer for residential and commercial real estate. In a very short time, I was promoted to a position where I was responsible to train new managers. I look back on my successes and can wholly attribute them to an ability to see circumstances and issues, including what’s for dinner, through the eyes of others. Face it; cooking for others, not yourself, is the credo for any practicing chef. Armed with this background and an incredible understanding in fiscal decision making that came right along with it, I eagerly approached the next learning phase of my life; culinary school in Paris, France.


    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

    During the past years, I have been an instructor, an historian, an executive chef, a restaurant consultant, a program director, and a student for a very enjoyable time. Needless to say, a lot of this overlapped. One of the greatest assets of what we do is that culinary is the world’s most portable profession. I try to share my experiences in the industry and also connect the dots historically for students who have not traveled or experienced as many different cuisines.  


    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    My classrooms encourage sharing ideas and experiences. When we critique food we talk about the flavors, textures, and techniques used to achieve a finish product. I also focus on the business of foodservice to ensure that students understand that being a professional cook or chef is different from cooking in your home. You need to understand how to manage resources and, most importantly, time.


    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

    Collaboration in the food and beverage industry is how we take care of our guests. Assignments in my classes foster this collaboration so that students practice communication and partnership with others towards a common goal.  


    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    I teach students in my classes to be lifelong learners. I demonstrate to them that I am still learning and encourage them to not think of school as a thing you do once. Learning is a process of developing and engaging with the world to understand more over a much longer period of time.



    Read More...

Latest Happenings

Meal Through the Arts Culinary
Student at The Art Institute of San Antonio Battles for the Title of Top Dish

Gabrielle Cortes to compete in national competition to benefit No Kid Hungry.

Read More

Future Chefs PANO Culinary
Future Chef’s Challenge Grows Larger The Second Year!

South Texas high school teens showed what it takes to cream the competition at the San Antonio Area Hospitality Educators Association of Texas (HEAT) Future Chefs Challenge on Sat. Feb. 24.

Read More

Juanita's Culinary
San Antonio Menudo Competition

Juanita’s Foods and The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes partner in a Menudo competition.

Read More