Skip to content

Culinary and Hospitality

Close-up of pastry chefs preparing a dessert.

Department: Culinary Arts and Hospitality

Program Type: Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management

Planning to Transfer? Learn more about the transfer process including the importance of choosing a major and transfer school.


Elgin Community College is a top culinary and hospitality program in the Midwest. It's the perfect place for people who love cooking and baking to learn and create delicious food. We offer Associate Degrees in Culinary Arts. ECC is ideal for those aspiring to be a sous chef, pastry chef, or chef du cuisine. It provides the best education to start your culinary journey. Students learn skills in class and use them in our modern kitchen labs to find their voice in the kitchen.

Apply to ECC, and you can also study Restaurant Management. You will learn about every aspect of the industry while developing technical and employability skills. We offer smaller class sizes, giving you more one-on-one time with expert faculty interested in your success.

If you already work in the industry and need to enhance your technical skills, consider a shorter-term commitment by earning a certificate in ice sculpting, pastry, or other areas. Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The future employment outlook for Culinary Arts and Hospitality 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, and other establishments. Refer to Career Coach for more information regarding related occupations and compensation.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the culinary arts and hospitality plan of study and course descriptions.

Associate of Applied Science

Vocational Certificates

Basic Vocational Certificates

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. 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Food Service Managers, (accessed July 20, 2023). See details about the salary and job opportunities for a career in food service on the ECC Career Coach site.

Chefs and Bakers 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.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Chefs and Head Cooks and Bakers, (accessed July 20, 2023). See details about the salary and job opportunities in this creative career field in the culinary arts on the ECC Career Coach site.

Skills you'll learn in the program.

Culinary skills you'll learn in the program:

  • knife skills, using flavorings, herbs, and spices, mise-en-place, egg cookery, foundational cooking methods, preparation of stocks, sauces, vegetables, starches, and healthy cooking 
  • culinary techniques for preparing cured and smoked foods, sausage production, terrines and pâtés, cheeses, and hot and cold hors d'oeuvres to develop your style 
  • business skills to make smart purchasing decisions as a chef to run the day-to-day operations of a kitchen
  • artisan yeast bread, show-stopper multi-tiered cakes, pies, baked custards, and tarts, plus European and advanced pastries and tortes and European cake decorating and ice cream
  • patisserie and confection skills such as sugar pulling, sugar casting, chocolate centerpieces, chocolate boxes, marzipan
  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation ServSafe Certification

Hospitality skills you'll learn at ECC:

  • 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 system, analysis methods, and correction
  • beverage management as a complement to food with a deep dive into equipment and bar setup, mixology, beer, wine, and spirits
  • understanding alcohol law and serving alcohol responsibly
  • menu strategy and design, pricing, advertising, and merchandising in a modern restaurant or other food service facility
  • principals of culinary math, food costing and purchasing, pricing, and storing you need to understand as a successful food service operator
  • hands-on internship opportunities with local restaurants under the supervision of an ECC culinary faculty member

Student Story

Arianna learned different techniques and developed her cooking style in the culinary arts program at ECC.

Learn more about the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Department at ECC!

Earning an Associate Degree at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

Request Information

Video Overview

Elgin Community College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Program.

ECC Culinary Ice Carving

Are you unemployed or looking for a better career?

ECC is partnering with Kane County WIOA to offer free career training for in-demand jobs. Learn more and see if you qualify.

Learn More


Admissions & Recruitment

Building B, Room B110
Fax: 847-608-5458

Live Chat

Monday through Thursday: 7:30 am to 7 pm
Fridays: Closed

*Bilingual Admissions Coordinator: 847-214-7689


Culinary Arts & Hospitality Program


Schedule a Tour