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Pickens Technical College has introduced a new Culinary Arts program that trains students in the art of being a professional chef. Being a professional chef is more than plating dishes and trying to be Anthony Bourdain, it’s a skill that requires plenty of education, experience, and some luck to make it in this competitive and difficult field.

PTC arms its students with the knowledge and background they need to compete in many different fields and its staff and faculty are excited to add another course to their offerings. The Culinary Arts program is a two-semester course that introduces students to cooking fundamentals and baking techniques. You’ll learn about the nutritional properties of different foods and how to manage a kitchen. After this course, you’ll be able to get started in a restaurant and hit the ground running with superior organization skills and a solid understanding of what makes different foods delicious and nutritious. You’ll also impress your normally stern head chefs and supervisors with your knowledge of customer and employee safety, kitchen sanitation, and safe serving techniques. Find out more about the class here.

Teaching this course is the aptly named Taylor Cookingham, a former instructor at Johnson and Wales University’s Denver College of Culinary Arts and an experienced chef, as well as a member of the Colorado Restaurant Association. She hopes to involve her students in a deep understanding of what it means to produce good food and how to routinely create new flavors and sensations in the kitchen.

This new program will open more doors to students who want to learn how the traditions of cooking from an experienced instructor and chef, and show them how to tear down those traditions and go for something new beyond where they thought they could reach. Cookingham plans on helping her students reach their potential as chefs and providing them with opportunities to find work after they graduate from her class by forging connections with the local food scene. She strives to provide the tools her students need to succeed in a variety of culinary arts careers.