Culinary Arts Technical Certificate

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The Culinary Arts Technical Certificate program prepares students for entry-level employment in a wide range of commercial food preparation facilities such as restaurants, hotels, and bake shops. Students learn principles of sanitation and safety in a food service facility, basic knife skills, cooking methods, ingredient identification, fundamentals of the professional bake shop, and vegetable, starch, and meat cookery. Students gain skills in menu planning and development, food cost, and purchasing principles. Graduates possess a working knowledge of culinary theory and vocabulary, the ability to work as members of a team, and the confidence to operate in a fast-paced environment.

Earn a One-Year Technical Certificate or a Two-Year A.A.S. Degree in Culinary Arts
The Culinary Arts Technical Certificate is a 25 credit-hour program that can be completed in one year. All of the required Culinary Arts Technical Certificate courses can be applied toward the Nashville State Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts if students choose to continue their education. Students who plan to apply the certificate toward an A.A.S. degree should consult their advisors about articulation options.

Consumer Information: Gainful Employment Disclosures

Culinary Arts Technical Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosures

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Advising Sheet Archives


2016–2017 Advising Sheets

Culinary Arts Technical Certificate
Culinary Arts Technical Certificate

Culinary Arts A.A.S. Degree
Culinary Arts AAS Degree


2015–2016 Advising Sheets

Culinary Arts Technical Certificate
Culinary Arts Technical Certificate

Culinary Arts A.A.S. Degree
Culinary Arts AAS Degree


2014–2015 Advising Sheets

Culinary Arts Technical Certificate
Culinary Arts Technical Certificate

Culinary Arts A.A.S. Degree
Culinary Arts AAS Degree


2013–2014 Advising Sheets

Culinary Arts Technical Certificate
Culinary Arts Technical Certificate

Culinary Arts A.A.S. Degree
Culinary Arts AAS Degree


Program Skills and Career Opportunities

Culinary Arts education prepares students for careers as chefs and culinary professionals in a variety of hospitality businesses. The program includes a core of culinary arts courses that develop cooking skills and provide instruction in purchasing, cost control, sanitation, nutrition, and supervision.

Graduates of the program will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to think creatively and work effectively in team environments within a kitchen production facility.
  • Competency in food production cooking methods including hot and cold foods, and basic baking.
  • A working knowledge of culinary theory and terms, and the ability to operate within a kitchen production facility.
  • Knowledge of nutrition principles, menu writing, cost and inventory control, and safety and sanitation principles.

Career Opportunities

  • Line Cook
  • Pastry Cook
  • Prep Cook
  • Catering Cook

Professional cooking and baking is a dynamic industry, with many career opportunities for those with experience and a Culinary Arts degree who are open to challenges, who need an outlet for their creativity, and who desire a non-traditional work environment.

Working chefs create, cook, teach, manage people and businesses, write menus, and learn constantly. The Culinary Arts program at Nashville State provides an extremely cost-efficient way for a future chef to gain a great education and begin their own culinary career path.

Culinary Arts students receive training in the basics of cooking and baking, learning through both theory and practice. Students prepare a variety of foods and ingredients, practicing the skills necessary for successful work as cooks in a wide range of settings.

The typical student who graduates the program and has one full year of kitchen work experience will find career opportunities as a line cook in restaurants and hotels, a cook for caterers, or as a personal chef. With a few more years of experience, the same student may be presented with opportunities as a Sous Chef (Assistant Chef) or perhaps the position of Chef in a small restaurant.

As experience and abilities grow, so does the chef's potential income and job opportunities. The range of opportunities revolving around food and cuisine include restaurant and hotel chefs, pastry chefs, kitchen managers, personal and catering chefs, and all of the training positions which lead to these challenging and well-compensated posts. Other opportunities include those of food writers or teachers, as well as positions in restaurant management and food sales.

Individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit may pursue starting a small business revolving around the preparation of food for customers. Many entrepreneurs start small food service businesses such as cafés, restaurants, or catering companies, successfully utilizing their ability to cook great food and work with people.

There is a strong demand for trained culinarians (cooks, bakers, chefs, and pastry chefs). The mission of the Culinary Arts program at Nashville State is to prepare students to meet that demand. A Culinary Arts degree from Nashville State is a great way to start a career in the fabulous world of food and cuisine.

Program Costs

Pursuing a culinary education includes costs above tuition and school fees. Students are required to purchase their own tools (such as knives) and appropriate chef's clothing for the food production kitchen. Other expenses may also be incurred, including ingredients needed to prepare recipes for projects or homework assigned outside of class.

Program Faculty

Paul Brennen, Culinary Arts Program Director and Instructor, Southeast Campus, 615-916-5595
Paul Brennen joins Nashville State as Culinary Arts Program Director for Fall 2015. Mr. Brennen holds an Associate’s degree from Pennsylvania Culinary, a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s from High Point University in North Carolina, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Higher Education Administration at North Eastern University in Boston. Prior to joining Nashville State, Mr. Brennen served as Clinical Faculty-Chef at Oklahoma State University. “I am very excited to join Nashville State and help develop our school into one of the premier culinary arts programs in the region,” stated Mr. Brennen. “As a key provider for the Middle Tennessee culinary industry, we will strive to develop culinary students for successful careers in the exciting and ever-changing hospitality field.”

Marylou Tate, Assistant Professor, Southeast Campus, 615-916-5596
Chef Tate has more than twenty years experience in the culinary field including five years as the Catering Manager for GTECH Corporation, an international gaming and lottery company headquartered in Rhode Island, and ten years as Executive Chef for Summa Health System, a three-hospital system in Akron, Ohio. Chef Tate served three years as an adjunct instructor prior to becoming a full-time instructor in 2009. She has also taught classes for various community groups and organizations, high schools, and for Viking Corporation.

A.O.S. Culinary Arts, Johnson and Wales University, 1990
B.A.A. Business/Accounting, Cleveland State University, 1983

Robert Siegel, Instructor, Southeast Campus, 615-916-5895
Chef Siegel has many years experience in the culinary industry, including serving as executive chef for Nashville restaurants such as the Belle Meade Brasserie, Finezza Trattoria, Maude's Courtyard, Radisson Hotel, and Villa Romano. Honors received include Certified Executive Chef, American Culinary Federation (ACF); Restauranteur of the Year, ACF and TRA; Chaine de Rotisseurs, Les Amis d'Escoffier; and Chef of the Year - ACF. Chef Siegel became a full-time instructor at Nashville State in 2014.

B.A. Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University, 1973
Certified Executive Chef, 1990

Contact Information

Culinary Arts is only offered on the
NSCC Southeast Campus (Map to SEC)

Phone: 615-916-5872
Southeast Campus Map: PDF

Campus Directory

Advising Sheets

Please see Advising Sheet Archives on the left for previous year advising sheets.

Technical Certificate
Culinary Arts Technical Certificate

AAS Degree
Culinary Arts AAS Degree

Catalog and Class Schedule

See NSCC Catalog for program requirements, recommended schedules, course descriptions and syllabi.

See Class Schedule for course availability.

NSCC Career Services

The college has a very active Career Services Office that assists students, graduates and alumni with their career and employment needs.

Austin, Culinary Arts

The faculty are all good people, experienced in their field, and a great asset to my education. The Southeast campus kitchen facility is equipped for learning many cooking methods.

Austin, Culinary Arts

Stephanie, Culinary Arts

Nashville State has definitely prepared me for my career. You get a very well-rounded education which makes you more valuable to the company you work for.

Stephanie, Culinary Arts

Harren, Culinary Arts

I'm impressed with the Culinary program at Nashville State. The curriculum is challenging and germane to the industry. I am being given the tools I need to have a successful career.

Harren, Culinary Arts

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