Create, prepare, and serve
Allow your culinary passions to flourish within the School of Culinary Arts! This comprehensive program teaches students to master the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the culinary field. Students experience intensive instruction and gain hands-on training using professional equipment with the help of our highly trained faculty in state-of-the-art kitchens. Innovative coursework allows students to learn essential techniques through cumulative practice.
Culinary students are immersed in a diverse menu of global cuisines including salads, soups, stocks, sauces, meat, fish and poultry entrees, creative pastries, and desserts. As part of the culinary experi-ence, students are exposed to the pace and rigor of a restaurant kitchen, learn proper knife skills, garnishing techniques, ingredient pairing, food safety/sanitation, and time/business management skills. In addition, our “Table Service” component affords students the opportunity to receive training in the school’s award-winning, student-staffed gourmet restaurant, “Chez Technique.”
SOCA students have the opportunity to select a concentration after their freshman year and choose to focus on either Culinary Arts or Baking/Pastry. Qualified students have the opportunity to work in their field of study during their senior year through the School to Careers Program.
PCTI’s culinary program is an award-winning participant in ProStart, a national culinary certification program that prepares students for their career of choice with mentored working experience, competitions, and connections with the local restaurant community. By combining the industry and the classroom, ProStart gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents and open doors to fulfilling careers. Those who complete the requirements of this program are awarded with the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement.
Culinary students also earn ServSafe Certification, a food and beverage safety training and certificate program administered by the National Restaurant Association. The program is accredited by ANSI and the Conference for Food Protection.
PCTI’s Culinary Arts program provides students with real-world knowledge, comprehensive training experience, and an enormous competitive edge as they continue to fulfill their dream of becoming modern chefs.
The School of Culinary Arts has specific tracks, or major areas of study, that students and parents will select in the future of the program. Each track has limited enrollment and does not allow for all first-choice requests to be guaranteed. Additonal criteria may be taken into account to determine a student’s placement in a track.
One Of The Most Decorated Culinary Programs in NJ
Students are continually challenged as they compete in dozens of local, regional, and state level competitions. Each year, they earn awards, recognition, and confidence. The program boasts the following:
- Chez Technique, an award winning, student staffed restaurant on campus is a five-star dining experience!
- “Best Practice Award” / New Jersey State Department of Education
- New York Times / critique of program featured in food section
- 1st Place Award / Geneva Association Competition / 1999
- Award of Excellence - 4 years - NJSBA Fall Convention exhibit featuring Culinary Arts
- Multiple awards received from the NJ Restaurant Association and the Hotel Association of Morris County
- Participants, by invitation, at the Chamber of Commerce Food Fest at the Meadowlands Arena (the only participating school)
- Graduates often continue their education at colleges such as Johnson & Wales, the Culinary Institute of America, Hudson County Community College
- Over 4000 lunches are prepared each day for students, staff and faculty
- Throughout the year, dozens of events hosted by the district are beautifully complimented by the creativity and craft of the culinary arts displays
- Students have won NJ State Baking Competition and scholarships
- Governor Silver Plate Awards
- World’s Best Pastry Chef /Full Scholarship
- NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge/ Meals featured on ISS
- State ProStart Competition/Placed 1st or 2nd for the past 12 years
The Culinary Arts program curriculum is based on the new, comprehensive, challenging and highly respected, ProStart Curriculum. It was designed by the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation.
This award-winning program is taught in an impressive professional setting that includes:
- A comprehensive bakery offering students the tools to create dinner rolls to wedding cakes.
- A gourmet-style professional restaurant - Chez Technique - with waiter service.
- Three complete kitchens with traditional and modern professional grade tools, processors and massive ovens
- A fully-equipped, totally functional demonstration food preparation lab designed for small group instruction.
School of Culinary Arts Careers Curriculum
Table service ProStart Lab
Students select one of the above a a career path major
Culinary Arts Level I
World Language I
Culinary Arts Level II
Biology or Applied Physics
World Language II
Culinary Arts Level III
Chemistry or Applied Chemistry
U.S. History I
Culinary Arts Level IV
U.S. History II
NOTE: The academic component is taught by highly qualified and dedicated professionals.
Expertise of Faculty: Dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced, and caring best describe the faculty. They provide a solid, supportive atmosphere that challenges students to overcome obstacles and achieve their personal best.
“College Connection Program” Earning College Credits in High School
Want to earn college credits before graduating high school? At PCTI you have the opportunity to do just that! Nearly 2 dozen college courses—some specific to career majors and others open to all PCTI students—are offered in affiliations with area colleges and universities!
Some of PCTI’s higher education affiliates include: William Paterson University, Seton Hall University, Berkeley College, Passaic County Community College, NJIT, Rochester Institute of Technology, FDU, Hudson County Community College, Bergen Community College, the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, and Monroe College.
School to Careers Experience
PCTI maintains a very strong and supportive School to Careers program, offering 9th, 10th, and 11th graders the opportunity to “job shadow,” and 11th & 12th graders the chance to put their skills to work at a paid position in the workplace. Hundreds of students participate and hundreds of business leaders support our efforts by employing our students.
All culinary arts students join Skills USA, a national vocational organization. Chez Technique, PCTI’s gourmet restaurant is affiliated with the NJ Restaurant Association. Students follow ProStart, the curriculum of the National Restaurant Association. Successful graduates receive a certificate from the National Restaurant Association.
"I am forever grateful to PCTI for helping me take the first step in my long journey." ~Roxana Turcios Johnson and Wales University Hospitality College