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Defining Menu Courses

While not every meal you create will include multiple stages, anyone with a serious interest in cooking should understand the basics of menu courses. Although the courses can be broken down in a variety of ways, here's what a five course menu might look like.

Culinary Arts

Appetizers

  • Also called starters or hors d'oeurvres.
  • The first course of a meal and served in small portions.
  • Often used at parties to tide guests over until the main meal.
  • Fast Fact: Tapas, which are served in some restaurants as a main course, are actually Spanish appetizers.

Salad and Soup Course

  • Salad and soup may be served together or as separate meal courses.
  • Salads and soups are sometimes served as appetizers
  • The type of soup or salad served may depend upon the season and should complement the main course.
  • Fast Fact: In some European cultures, it's traditional to eat the salad course after the entrée.

Main Course

  • Often referred to as the entrée or, more casually, as the main event.
  • Usually consists of the largest portion of food and features a protein.
  • Sometimes the main course may be broken up into multiple entrees, such as a fish dish followed by a meat dish.
  • Fast Fact: The word entrée first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1759 and was defined as a roasted ham.

Cheese or Dessert Course

  • If cheese is being served, it is usually done after the entree and before, or in lieu of, dessert.
  • A cheese course can be as simple as one piece of cheese or as elaborate as a sampling of numerous cheeses served with accompaniments such as bread, fruit, and nuts.
  • Desserts are traditionally sweet dishes served with a complementary beverage such as wine.
  • Fast Fact: Food&Wine Magazine lists carrot cake, Georgia peach pie and chocolate cupcakes among the most popular desserts in the country.

Mignardises

  • Mignardises are tiny, bite sized desserts like cookies, candies, or tarts.
  • Presented at the end of a meal as a final small treat and may be served along with coffee or tea.
  • The term petit-four is sometimes used interchangeable with mignardise.
  • Fast Fact: In anticipation of an upcoming movie, LA restaurant Faith & Flower began serving Star Wars-shaped mignardises.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
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            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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