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Online Cooking Classes

Career Diploma in
Gourmet Cooking and Catering

Turn your love of cooking into a career with online cooking classes. Our Gourmet Cooking and Catering program prepares you with the techniques found in the finest online catering school. Graduate with soup-to-nuts know-how, with the opportunity earn your ServSafe® Food Handler certification through the National Restaurant Association.

  • Prerequisite: None
  • Study Method: Textbooks with Online Exams
  • Program Length: As few as 6 Months

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  What You'll Learn

Our online cooking classes consist of 22 comprehensive lessons. Each lesson introduces fundamental concepts and methods, and your textbook is filled with hundreds of delicious recipes that encourage you to practice at home. Key concepts include…

  • Food guide pyramid
  • Selecting the right supplies and equipment
  • Slicing, chopping, dicing, and mincing
  • Selecting and using herbs and spices
  • Principals of meat cookery

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View Curriculum Details  

Lesson 1: Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Lesson 2: Concepts in Small Business and Self-Employment  

Evaluating your business idea; setting yourself apart from the competition; market testing; investment funding and donation funding; qualities of an entrepreneur; crowdfunding and angel investors.

Lesson 3: Gourmet Cooking Fundamentals  

Chefs and restaurants in history; point and nouvelle cuisine; new foods for today's consumers; sanitation; modern food service operations.

Lesson 4: Nutrition, Recipes, and Menus  

The balanced diet; storing and cooking foods to preserve nutrients; the food guide pyramid; ingredient substitutes and alternatives; package labeling; types of menus; standardized recipes; recipe measurements and conversions; calculating and controlling recipe costs.

Lesson 5: Tools, Equipment, and Knife Skills  

Selecting the right supplies and equipment; hand tools; using knives: slicing, chopping, dicing, mincing, and more; measuring, portioning, processing, and storage devices; cookware; strainers; sieves; ovens; stoves; broilers; grills.

Lesson 6: Kitchen Staples and Dairy Products  

Selecting and using herbs and spices; bouquet garni and sachet; salt; spice blends; nuts; using various oils; vinegars; condiments, including relishes, pickles, soy sauce, and ketchup; grinding, brewing, and serving coffees and teas; milk; cream; cultured dairy products; butter; margarine; natural and processed cheeses.

Lesson 7: Principles of Cooking: Stocks and Sauces  

Heating principles; dry- and moist-heat cooking methods; braising; stewing; making stocks; court bouillon; nage; glaze; preparing roux; using thickening agents; finishing methods; sauce families; preparing sauces, gravies, salsa, and relish; compound butters; flavored oils.

Lesson 8: Soups and Meat Cookery  

Clear, broth-based, purée, and cream soups; consommés; chowders; bisques; cold soups; soup garnishing; soup service; meat grades; aging, buying, and storing meats; techniques for selecting, preparing, and cooking meats.

Lesson 9: Beef, Veal, Lamb and Pork  

Principals of meat cookery; primal and subprimal cuts of beef, veal, lamb, and pork; understanding inspection and grading; butchering procedures; cooking and serving suggestions for beef, veal, lamb, and pork; recipes; broiling, grilling, basting, barbecuing, and roasting techniques.

Lesson 10: Poultry and Game  

Identifying and selecting chicken, goose, guinea, pigeon, turkey, and ratites; duck and goose liver; nutritional values; giblets; buying, storing, butchering, and marinating poultry and game; sautéing, roasting, frying, and barbecuing procedures; moist-heat methods for cooking poultry.

Lesson 11: Fish and Eggs  

Identifying, buying, storing, and cooking fish and shellfish; fabrication methods; broiling and grilling methods; knowing grades of eggs; whipping egg whites; dry- and moist-heat cooking; how to fry, bake, and sauté eggs; crêpes; egg recipes.

Lesson 12: Vegetables and Deep-Frying  

Equipment and fats for deep-frying; breading and battering foods; frying procedures; greens; gourds and squashes; onions; mushrooms and truffles; stalks; baby vegetables; pods and seeds; mushrooms; roots and tubers; buying, storing, and cooking fresh, preserved, frozen, canned, and dried vegetables; microwaving and puréeing techniques; stir-frying techniques.

Lesson 13: Starches and Salads  

Identifying, buying, storing, and cooking potatoes and grains; buying and preparing a variety of gourmet pasta dishes; preparing and filling fresh pasta; selecting and preparing salad greens and salad dressings; bound salads; fruit salads.

Lesson 14: Fruits, Sandwiches, Hors d 'oeuvres, and Canapés  

Identifying and using berries, citrus, exotics, grapes, melons, pomes, stone fruits, and tropicals; buying and storing fresh, frozen, dried, and preserved fruits; sandwich breads, spreads, and fillings; preparing and presenting cold and hot sandwiches; preparing hors d'oeuvres; sushi.

Lesson 15: Baking and Breads  

Types of ingredients: flours, sugars, sweeteners, flavorings, leavening agents, and fats; thickeners; quick breads; yeast breads; the baking process; chocolate; bakeshop tools and equipment; mixing methods; cooling and storing baked goods; rolling-in doughs.

Lesson 16: Pies, Cookies, Cakes, and Custards  

Pies and tarts; crusts; flaky and mealy doughs; fillings; classic pastries; éclair paste; meringues; cookies; assembling, mixing, decorating, and storing cakes; frostings; baked and stirred custards; soufflés; creams; chiffon; frozen desserts; dessert sauces.

Lesson 17: Banquet Service Fundamentals  

French, Russian, and American á la carte and buffet service styles; setting the table correctly: utensils, tablecloths, and napkins; tray loading and carrying procedure; the side towel; banquet service; French service today; serving techniques.

Lesson 18: Banquet Management and Booking  

Keys to successful banquet management; catering vs. banquets; business entertaining; procedures for booking functions; staffing; room and setup options; audio-visual and other equipment; planning tips.

Lesson 19: The Banquet Function Sheet  

Using policy and function sheets; obtaining information about the function; menu and event planning; types of meals; alcoholic beverage service; scheduling and confirming the arrangements; meeting with the staff; seating plans; checking the details.

Lesson 20: Managing the Function  

Preparing, equipping, and staffing for the function; organizing the kitchen, service, and bar staff; serving cocktail and banquet parties and sit-down meals; buffets; meeting rooms; keeping foods hot; banquet check-backs.

Lesson 21: How to Get Started in Catering  

Do you have what it takes?; apprenticeships; working from home; local regulations; outfitting your kitchen and pantry; the business plan; working with wholesale purveyors; insurance; contracts; hiring employees; menu pricing; estimating quantities; bidding and proposals.

Lesson 22: How to Be Successful in Catering  

Sales and marketing techniques; your niche in the business; accounting fundamentals; job assignments; the schedule; the pack-out checklist; food presentation tips; how to avoid and solve problems; staffing; setup and breakdown; surveys.

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  What You Get

Complete our online catering school on your terms. Begin on your schedule, study at your own pace and get personal guidance when you need it. We’ve eliminated the hurdles so you can move ahead quickly!

The content selected for your online cooking courses balances essential theoretical concepts and real-world application. Your tuition covers:

  • Detailed, illustrated cooking textbook & study guides
  • Online, open-book exams
  • ServSafe® Food Handler online training and certification exam ($15 value)
  • Dedicated academic support and tutoring
  • Participation in the Student Community
  • Career Services powered by CareerBuilder®

Graduates of our online cooking courses receive a personalized diploma and may attend our annual graduation ceremony. Graduating from our online cooking classes will help you cook up a tasty career.

  • Online Cooking Classes Books


  • Online Cooking Classes Diploma


  • Graduation Video


We've cleared the way. Start your Gourmet Cooking and Catering training today. Speak with an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online now.