Our Semester Programs:
The Semester Programs consist of 2 main concentrations: Culinary Sciences & Culinary Management to be completed in 12 and 20 weeks, respectively. Culinary Management is offered as an 8-week continuation of the Culinary Sciences curriculum. See below for more details. PCAI's 8,000 square-foot professional facility features small, attentive hands-on class with distinguished Chef instructors that pride themselves on the personal attention they give to students. Located in the heart of Downtown Durham, PCAI offers a vibrant culinary experience with a staff from world-renowned culinary institutes. Whether you've just graduated, are making a career change or just want to polish your skills - Pinnacle programs attract a diverse and ambitious student body from around the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. Convenient morning and evening classes starting in the Fall, Spring and Summer offer students the flexibility to train at one of the Triangle's premier culinary schools.
One of the most affordaable culinary educations is well within your reach. Because every student's situation is as divers as PCAI's student body, PCAI offers a "menu" of financial aid options. If you are interested in exploring your options, please Click here for Financial Aid
Pinnacle Culinary Arts Institute 411 W. Chapel Hill Street Downtown Durham, NC 27701 (919) 638-8444
Culinary Management: Foodservice & Hospitality Management
In the Management program, the primary focus will be on imparting knowledge that will benefit you as you pursue management positions within the foodservice industry. Coursework focuses on communication, leadership skills, management, human resources, technology, accounting, marketing, financial management and customer relations. PCAI offers Culinary Management to our students who have already completed the first 12-week Culinary Sciences Semester - this is a continuation course. This is in preparation for positions as Assistant Manager and Supervisor.
Foodservice Management Module:
This innovative course is desinged for the individual interested in restaurant managament who wants to oversee, grow, open or own a culinary business. A culinary business is defined to include restaurants, catering operations, specialty food stores and similar companies. The focus of this program is entrepreneurship and practical skill. Key concepts covered in the Foodservice Management Module include Menu Design, Purchasing, Finance, Communication, Sanitation, and Food, Beverage & Cost Control.
Hospitality Management Module: Hospitality management consists of concepts in menu design, restaurant public relations, event management and conference planning. Students will also learn skills in sales and marketing teams and human resources. You will understand how menus and restaurant styles impact employee selection and staffing. Labor costs management and customer service supervision topics will be extensively covered, as well. Understanding the latest software and management systems is crucial in the field and PCAI prepares its management students in effectively utilizing these tools. Click here for our Informational Brochure for Curriculum, Schedule and Tuition Information.
Graduates are prepared to enter entry-level management positions within the hospitality and foodservice industries.
Culinary Sciences: The Art of Culinary Cooking & Pastry Creations
The 12-week semester will first consist of the Culinary Cooking Module: here, you will learn the theory of culinary arts, gain practical experience in the kitchen while studying the business of cost control, sanitation and safety, menu planning, nutrition and kitchen management. You will learn to produce food quickly and in a high quantity while working with peer students. The next 4 weeks will emphasize all things baking in the Pastry Creations Module. You will learn baking skills with an emphasis on fundamental pastry and bread-making techniques. There will be a specific concentration places on all-purpose baking, desserts, cake decoration and pastry design. **All students will prepare and sit for the ServSafe Sanitation Manager exam.**
Culinary Cooking Module:
In this 8-week portion of the semester, you will be taught specific skills, which gradually become more complex as the program progresses. You will learn the art of tasting, the basics of flavor palates from herbs and sauces to fruits/ vegetables and meats. Techniques such as knife skills, dry- and moist cooking methods, sauce making and pastry and baking will be taught. Increasing complex concepts will be introduced allowing students to grasp the ideas of complex dishes and menu design.
Pastry Creations Module:
The content of the Pastry Creations module, taught over the next 4 weeks, introduces students to the world of baking, pastry making, decoration and presentation. We use a 5-skill model addressing skill development, pastry theory, pastry technique, palate training and efficiency. This module offers hands-on experience of the components of baking including breads, cakes, icings and specialty desserts
Most classes will conclude with a group tasting and critique of the day's work by the Chef Instructor. Critiquing the food you have prepared is an important part of the day's lesson. We believe that it is impossible to learn how to cook without learning how to taste. Homework is crucial and periodic examinations will assess each student's progress and mastery of culinary concepts. Click here for our Informational Brochure for Curriculum, Schedule and Tuition Information.
ServSafe Certification Module:
As part of the The Arts of Culinary Cooking & Pastry Creations Program, PCAI prepares students for the ServSafe examination. Along with the training in culinary skills, students will prepared to take the examination to be certified as a nationally-recognized ServSafe Sanitation Manager. Every student will take the test which is proctored by The Continuation Education program of North Carolina State University and accredited by The National Restaurant Association (NRA). A passing grade of 75% is required to receive this certification. Pinnacle Culinary Arts Institute boasts a 100% passing rate of our last 5 ServSafe classes!
Graduates are prepared to seek entry-level employment such as Line Cook, Assistant Baker and Garde Manger.
411 West Chapel Hill Street Durham, NC 27701
THAT WE OFFER AT PCAI
La Tropicale Cafe and Catering
Savor the Taste of the Islands... The flavors of the Caribbean will tantilize your taste buds and make for an unforgettable experience. Chef Gladwin Jarvis ties together the authentic spices of the Caribbean with a French flair for cooking to produce gorgeously designed and savory dishes for you and your guests to enjoy! Check out our website for more information about our packages, menus and prices.
Culinary Skills and Techniques
- Mise en Place, Kitchen safety and sanitation
- Food Pyramid and Nutrition
- Stocks: vegetable, brown and white
- Thickening and binding agents
- Sauces: classic and contemporary
- Braising, stewing, saute, deep and shallow frying, steaming
- Vegetable and starch cookery
- Soups, purees, creams, broths, consomme, chowder, vinaigrette
- Defining and classifying fruits and vegetables
FOH & BOH Operations
- Understanding of how a menu and concept impact employee selection, staffing and scheduling
- Leadership and management skills
- Dining room organization and operations
- Dining room organization and operations
- Opening and closing procedures
- Legal aspects of foodservice
Menu Engineering & Cost Control
- Utilizign budgets and income statements
Culinary Skills and Techniques
Food Theory I
Food Theory II
Principles of Baking