Culinary Arts

GreenhouseOver the past fifteen years, word of this unique community college culinary arts program has spread throughout the West. Students most often speak of small class sizes (16:1 or less in culinary labs), and the expertise and availability of our faculty as making the greatest difference in their education.

Faculty members include 2012-13 Colorado Chef of the Year Jonathan St. Peter, CEC; Past-President Colorado Chef's Association Wayne Smith, CEC, CCE. Faculty members are experienced as business owners, managers, chefs, caterers, bakers, maitre d's and sommeliers.

This program emphasizes techniques of the modern culinary kitchen. Students learn cooking and baking from scratch skills for soups, sauces, meat and seafood production, yeast-raised breads, cakes, pies, and pastries. The program focuses on the fundamentals of nutrition, menu planning, cost control, purchasing, marketing, safety, and sanitation. Students gain practical experience in advanced line cooking, dining room management and beverage service in Chez Lena, our student-operated restaurant, which is open to the public.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Use information on an assigned topic to address a course or discipline related question or a question of practice in a workplace setting. (Applied Learning)

2. Apply appropriate mathematical concepts to the field of culinary arts as a basis for menu planning, purchasing, and recipe conversion. (Quantitative Fluency)

3. Evaluate strategies for production and sales of food products, identify, formulate, and assess a variety of food products. (Critical Thinking/Specialized Knowledge)

Program Strengths

  • Classes are taught in a modern culinary kitchen

  • On-campus full-service restaurant (Chez Lena)

  • Work-like classroom environment

  • Two enrollment periods per year; students may begin classes in the fall or spring

Emphasis/Degree Options


Culinary Arts

Food Preparation Program Sheet

»Associate of Applied Science

Culinary Arts

Program Sheet


Career Options

Chef de Cuisine
Certified culinarian
Executive or pastry chef
Food, beverage or banquet manager
Restaurant owner/manager

Gainful Employment

Culinary Arts- 12.0500

Pop Up Dinners

The Culinary Arts program and the Viticulture and Enology program at Western Colorado Community College are joining forces to offer Pop Up Dinners at the Chez Lena Restaurant. Assistant Technical Professor of Culinary Arts Jonathan St. Peter developed each course of the menu. Technical Instructor of Viticulture and Enology Jenne Baldwin-Eaton selected the wines. Culinary students will be preparing the meal, Dining room management students will be serving the meal, and Viticulture and Enology students will be pouring the wine.

Learn more about the Pop Up Dinners

Chez Lena Restaurant

Chez Lena Restaurant is a unique culinary experience. As a guest, you provide the opportunity for our students to hone their skills in sustainable restaurant management and you contribute to the future of cuisine in the Grand Valley. As students develop their craft and settle in the area, you reap the benefit of a richer and more diverse community of restaurants. When you partner with students in the CMU/WCCC Culinary Arts program you become more than a diner, you become a financier of good taste and good food. 

Learn more about Chez Lena