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Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management

Group of students cooking in the kitchen

Professors bring years of industry knowledge to provide a quality education.

Do you love cooking, baking, and using your artistic/creative skills to make people happy? A Culinary Arts career may be perfect for you! The award-winning Culinary Arts program at ECC offers three areas of study: Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, and Hospitality Management. Some of our graduates work in well-known establishments, including restaurants, bakeries, resorts, country clubs, chocolate shops, hotels, and casinos. Your career opportunities are endless and exciting with a degree in Culinary Arts from Elgin Community College!

ECC continually upgrades our state-of-the-art culinary equipment to help you become a Culinary Arts professional. The professors bring years of industry knowledge to provide a quality learning experience. All degrees require hands-on internship opportunities with local operations under the supervision of an ECC culinary faculty member.

  • The department also offers Study Abroad opportunities in Italy or Austria, which will expose you to international cuisine and cultural diversity.
  • Spartan Terrace Restaurant and Spartan to Go retail store offer practical hands-on experience in cooking and customer service.

Elgin Community College is a top culinary, pastry, and hospitality program in the Midwest with smaller class sizes and more contact hours, giving you more one-on-one time with expert faculty in our professional commercial-grade labs using the latest equipment. Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer, or dual admissions with a university by making an appointment with an academic advisor.

You'll learn hospitality skills in the program.

  • Hospitality and tourism supervisor skills in planning, organizing, and staffing, management techniques to run a business
  • Basic costing concepts for food, beverage, and labor control systems and analysis methods
  • Beverage management as a complement to food with a deep dive into equipment and bar setup, mixology, beer, wine, and spirits theory
  • Understanding alcohol law and serving alcohol responsibly
  • Menu strategy and design, pricing, advertising, and merchandising in a modern restaurant or other food service facility
  • Principles of food costing, purchasing, receiving, and storing you need to understand as a successful food service operator

You'll learn culinary skills in the program.

  • Knife skills, herbs and spices, egg cookery, foundational cooking methods, and healthy cooking
  • Risotto, fresh pasta from scratch, quinoa, couscous and other grains
  • Stock, soups, beurre blanc, hollandaise, demi glace and many other sauces
  • Fabricating and cooking steaks and chops, poultry, lobster and seafood
  • Culinary techniques for preparing cured and smoked foods, sausage production, terrines and pâtés, cheeses, dressings and hot and cold hors d'oeuvres
  • Business skills to make smart purchasing decisions as a chef to run the day-to-day operations of a kitchen
  • Cooking for fine-dining restaurant service and accommodating allergies and dietary restrictions
  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation ServSafe Certification

You'll learn pastry skills in the program.

  • Pizza, croissants, artisan breads, brioche, doughnuts
  • Cheesecakes, pies, tarts, cream puffs
  • Macaron, American-style cakes like devil’s food, German chocolate, mousse, tiramisu, petit fours
  • European-style tortes like Opera torte, charlottes, truffles and bonbons, caramels, toffee, marshmallow
  • Trending techniques like colored chocolate bonbons, ice creams and sorbets, entremets, and plated dessert techniques
  • Multi-tiered cakes like wedding and quinceanera cakes, marzipan, gum paste, chocolate, and sugar showpieces
  • Gluten-free, vegan, and special dietary baking

Degree Programs

Certificate Programs

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Please refer to the ECC catalog for program details and course descriptions.

ECC Catalog

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The future employment outlook for the Hospitality Industry is positive. This is due to the increasing demand for diverse and unique dining experiences. This increase is due to increased travel and tourism and the need for managers to oversee and coordinate food service operations in hotels, restaurants, country clubs, and other establishments.

Getting a Job as a Restaurant Manager

The hospitality field is a growth industry. Jobs for restaurant managers and beverage professionals will grow by 10% by 2031, faster than the average rate. Restaurants, hotels, school cafeterias, and pubs offer these jobs to graduates.

Cooks, Bakers, and Managers are in Demand

You can expect higher-than-average job opportunities for an executive chef, sous chef, or pastry chef. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that culinary program graduates will see projected job growth of 15 percent by 2031. Jobs as pastry cooks, cake decorators, or bakers making loaves of bread and pastries will grow by 10 percent during the same period.

Compare Industry Salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Food Service Managers, (accessed July 20, 2023). See details about the salary and job opportunities using ECC's Career Coach.

Visit Career Coach

ECC in the News

A culinary arts & hospitality course at ECC
Academics | Announcement
Published 11/27/2023

ECC’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Department partners with Roosevelt University

Elgin Community College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Department is partnering with Roosevelt University to provide culinary arts & hospitality students the option to apply directly to Roosevelt University to continue their education in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management.

Read Article

ECC culinary student AJ Thomsen
Academics | Student Profile
Published 04/14/2023

ECC culinary arts students participate in annual Fisher Nuts scholarship recipe contest

Eight Elgin Community College culinary students competed for scholarship prizes in the annual Fisher Nuts Recipe Competition on Wednesday, April 12, at the college’s Spartan Terrace Restaurant.

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Tourismusschulen school in Semmering, Austria and the ECC culinary department
Published 10/17/2022

Austrian Chef Gerhard Fuchs visits ECC culinary arts department

The Elgin Community College Culinary Arts Department held a Visiting Chef Event with Chef Gerhard Fuchs on Thursday, October 13, in the Spartan Terrance Restaurant. The event showcased the partnership between Tourismusschulen school in Semmering, Austria, and the ECC culinary department, which goes back more than 30 years.

Read Article

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