Culinary Specialist Technical Diploma

A culinary student sprinkles basil on a dish
Your culinary career starts here. 

Program Code: 313162

If you’d like to turn your passion for cooking into a creative and rewarding career, you could be a great fit for the Culinary Specialist program. Grads will be prepared for employment in the food service industry through training and practical experience in food preparation, sanitation, nutrition, marketing, dining trends, catering, management and work ethics. Plus, grads will possess a working knowledge of culinary vocabulary, the ability to work as members of a team and the confidence to operate in a variety of fast-paced environments. The program includes National Restaurant Association Certifications as well as the CESIM Hospitality Simulation.


Employment Potential

A graduate of this program will have the potential for employment in the following areas:

Sous Chef

Banquet Chef

Pastry Chef

Food Production Manager

Purchasing Manager

Institutional Food Service

Contract Food Service

Restaurant Owner or Manager

Personal Chef


Requirements for Program Entry

• Completed application.
• High school transcript or equivalent. For a list of equivalents, go to
• To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.

Program Availability

FULL TIME Spring 2019 Summer 2019 Fall 2019
Green Bay
Sturgeon Bay

Application Checklist

Students following the study plan below will complete the Culinary Specialist technical diploma in the number of semesters shown.
10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...Students will utilize digital tools and resources to assess, explore, practice, apply, and evaluate both employability and learning skills. By establishing NWTC cultural values as hallmarks of success in academic, career, and personal settings the course encourages reflective, personalized development of a growth mindset and emphasizes the importance of making wise choices. To maximize the return on investment, students should take this course in their first semester as it identifies key expectations (hidden rules) of higher learning and professional employment.
10-316-118 PRINCIPLES OF SANITATION service sanitation principles of contamination/food borne illness with National Restaurant Association ServSafe Certification upon successful completion. (Prerequisite: Acceptance to Culinary Specialist technical diploma or Restaurant Management technical diploma or Hospitality Management associate degree).
10-316-119 FOOD THEORY ...develop the knowledge, skills and understanding of food preparation in commercial kitchens. (Prerequisite: Acceptance in Culinary Specialist program)
10-316-120 CULINARY BAKING FUNDAMENTALS ...understand basic baking principles and develop knowledge of the functions/appropriate usage of the ingredients used in production baking. Learn how different types of bakery products are classified and ingredient cost-outs are calculated. (Prerequisite: Acceptance in Culinary Specialist program)
10-316-121 CULINARY BAKING APPLICATION ...understand the baking process including the pastry department. Develop a foundation in baking principles through hands-on application. (Corequisite: 10-316-120, Culinary Baking Fundamentals)
10-316-122 PROFESSIONAL COOKING 1 ...basic skill sets of professional cooking: sanitation, knife skills, heat transfer, protein cooking, vegetable cooking, working in teams, mise en place, sauce production and starch cookery. (Corequisites: 10-316-118, Principles of Sanitation; 10-316-119, Food Theory)
10-806-112 PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABILITY ...prepares the student to develop sustainable literacy, analyze the interconnections among the physical and biological sciences and environmental systems, summarize the effects of sustainability on health and well-being, analyze connections among social, economic, and environmental systems, employ energy conservation strategies to reduce the use of fossil fuels, investigate alternative energy options, evaluate options to current waste disposal and recycling in the U.S., and analyze approaches used by your community to promote and implement sustainability. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 3200; OR Accuplacer Reading score greater/equal to 55; OR ACT Reading score greater/equal to 15; OR preparatory courses-contact an academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-804-134 MATHEMATICAL REASONING ...This course provides an alternative pathway to earning credit for a college level liberal arts mathematics course. All college students, regardless of their college major, need to be able to make reasonable decisions about fiscal, environmental, and health issues that require quantitative reasoning skills. An activity based approach is used to explore numerical relationships, graphs, proportional relationships, algebraic reasoning, and problem solving using linear, exponential and other mathematical models. Students will develop conceptual and procedural tools that support the use of key mathematical concepts in a variety of contexts. This course is not designed for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) students and/or others who require calculus. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 2400; OR Accuplacer Arithmetic score greater/equal to 65 AND Reading score greater/equal to 50; OR ACT Math score greater/equal to 15 AND ACT Reading score greater/equal to 15; OR prep courses-contact an academic advisor 920-498-5444)
10-109-168 RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT industry, product classifications, responsible service; bar/kitchen equipment/organization; maintaining clean/sanitary facilities; staffing, training, supervising food/beverage employees; promotions planning; budgeting/cost controls of food/beverage operations.
10-316-124 PROFESSIONAL COOKING 2 ...advanced skill sets of professional cooking: sanitation, knife skills, heat transfer, protein cooking, vegetable cooking, working in teams, Mise en place, sauce production and starch cookery. (Prerequisite: 10-316-122, Professional Cooking 1)
10-316-125 GARDE MANGER/DECORATIVE FOODS ...provides a detailed practical study of cold food preparation and artistic combination and display of cold foods. (Prerequisite: Acceptance in Culinary Specialist program)
10-316-126 CATERING overview of catering including pricing, hiring/managing staff, marketing, planning successful events, preparing safe/attractive food as well as managing the event. (Prerequisite: Acceptance to Culinary Specialist technical diploma or Restaurant Management technical diploma or Hospitality Management associate degree).
10-145-185 ORGANIZING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS ...the components of small business ownership; examining a variety of small business startup and operation scenarios. Assesses your own readiness to begin the entrepreneurial adventure.
10-316-128 NUTRITION ...focuses on the major nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water) in the planning of well-balanced diets and the nutritional analysis of well-balanced diets. (Prerequisite: Acceptance in Culinary Specialist program)
Curriculum Note
The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program requirements, but must be passed with a C or better.
Students selecting the Math Reasoning option may also need to complete an Arithmetic Assessment.

Program Outcomes

• Apply principles of safety and sanitation in food service operations.
• Apply basic principles of nutrition.
• Demonstrate basic culinary skills.
• Assist in food service management.
• Plan menus.
• Explore food service financial information.


Industry Credentials

National Restaurant Association Certification. The course includes National Restaurant Association Certifications as well as the CESIM Hospitality Simulation.


The Culinary Specialist program students are required to order and prepay for two sets of personalized chef uniforms and one pair of kitchen safe shoes three weeks prior to the beginning of classes. These supplies are approximately $200. Students accepted to the program will receive details through their NWTC e-mail account on how to order these supplies.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor or visit