Vaccine Clinic Appointments: People without internet access may call 360.778.6075.

Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts - AAS-T

BTC’s programs in Culinary Arts are ideal for students with a passion for food and pastry, and an interest in the fast-growing food service industry. Once you graduate with your Associate of Applied Science-Transfer degree, you can go straight to work in top jobs in the food industry, or transfer your class credits to a four-year college or university to earn your bachelor's degree.

Bellingham Technical College’s Culinary Arts program offers the highest quality culinary education available. You’ll receive training from an award-winning faculty in state-of-the-art facilities and learn the culinary skills you need to function as a professional in the fast-paced restaurant and food-service industry. You can put your training to work in a wide range of restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops, hotels, schools and universities, hospitals, and catering companies.

The Culinary Arts Program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation Foundation.

To learn more about Bellingham Technical College programs you’re interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you’re interested in, email for more information.

Employment Information

76% BTC graduate placement rate

$42,286 starting annual wage
$52,416 average annual wage
$63,419 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

The program typically starts in Fall Quarter on a space available basis.

A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater and a grade of C- will be the minimum passing grade for all Culinary program courses and a minimum grade of C for all General Education courses.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 108

  • Quarter 1

  • CUL 110Sanitation & Safety3 CR
  • CUL 112Introduction to Hospitality2 CR
  • CUL 114Culinary Skill Development I6 CR
  • CUL 116Meat Identification and Fabrication4 CR
  • CUL 118Commercial Kitchen Equipment2 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • CUL 121Pastry Basic I3 CR
  • CUL 122Culinary Skill Development II6 CR
  • CUL 125Pastry Basics II3 CR
  • MATH& 107Math in Society5 CR
  • OR Higher
  • Quarter 3

  • CUL 141Introduction to Artisan Breads & Laminated Dough3 CR
  • CUL 144American Regional a' la carte Cookery6 CR
  • CUL 145Intro to Cakes, Desserts, Chocolate & Sugar Decorations4 CR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 102English Composition II5 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • CUL 150Field-Based Experience6 CR
  • OR
  • CUL 152Culinary Competition Fundamentals6 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • CUL 142Nutrition3 CR
  • CUL 218Garde Manger6 CR
  • CUL 222Supervisor Development3 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • OR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • OR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • CUL 220Restaurant Management5 CR
  • CUL 224Food and Beverage Service2 CR
  • CUL 226International Cuisine6 CR
  • CUL 228Banquet and Catering Management3 CR
  • Quarter 7

  • CUL 230Northwest a' la carte Cookery8 CR
  • CUL 232Food and Beverage Service Lab2 CR
  • CUL 236Wine Appreciation2 CR
  • Choose 5 Credits of Humanities, Social Science or Natural Science from Approved Transfer Course List.5 CR

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Conform and comply with health standards based on US Food and Drug Administration, Washington State, and local health department sanitation and hygiene codes and laws.
  • Apply fundamentals and advanced skills in sustainable design and purchasing, butchery, Garde Manger, classical sauce, soups and stocks, food and beverage service, farinaceous foods, classical cookery techniques in international cuisine, American regional cuisines, and define product specifications.
  • Plan, prepare, and cook foods ala carte and buffet style consistently in a visually appealing manner while maintaining taste, nutritive value, flavor, and texture in classical and contemporary cooking methods.
  • Correctly prepare a variety of classical breads, artisan breads, classical pastry items, and desserts with the ability to correctly evaluate finished products for proper texture, color, palatability, shape, and doneness.
  • Plan, develop and analyze the dining room layout, facility design, menu design, cost analysis, marketing plan, and projected profit and loss statements.
  • Describe the fundamental nutrients in the human diet, identify a variety of contemporary dietary needs and demonstrate the ability to create and cook modified menus to meet those needs.

Employment Outlook

Culinary Arts program graduates prepare for careers as sous chefs, line, pantry and prep cooks, bakers, deli workers, food managers, and caterers. The employment outlook for culinary program graduates is very strong, and students can expect to earn excellent wages. Skilled workers in Culinary Arts are in high demand.

Faculty & Support

Photo of Brian McDonald
Brian McDonald

Brian has cooked professionally for over 35 years holding positions as a corporate restaurant chef, garde manger chef, banquet chef, catering chef, private chef, and butcher. He attended the Culinary Institute of America, graduating number one in his class, being awarded the Francis Roth Most Outstanding Student award. He has worked at many fine restaurants and hotels including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Amelia Island (Florida), Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill, David Burke’s Park Avenue Café (Chicago), and locally at Thirteen Coins and The Herb Farm Restaurant. He taught culinary arts for eight years in Asheville, North Carolina before joining Bellingham Technical College in 2003.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2003

    Certified Executive Chef, American Culinary Assoc. - 2003

    A.O.S., Culinary Institute of America - 2003

    Secusafe Certification, National Restaurant Assoc. - 2003

    Certified Culinary Educator, American Culinary Assoc. - 2003

Photo of Hilde Hettegger-Korsmo
Hilde Hettegger-Korsmo

Hilde Hettegger - Korsmo has been a Pastry Arts Instructor at Bellingham Technical College since 2005. She has over two decades of hands on experience in Culinary Arts/Pastry Arts/Restaurant Management and is currently certified under the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Culinarian Educator and Certified Working Pastry Chef. Over the past 20 years, Hilde has held culinary and pastry positions in Austria, Italy and the United States. In 2012, she won a bronze medal in her quest for the National Pastry Chef title and in 2011, she was awarded the Pastry Chef of the Year by the Washington State Chefs association. During the 2011-2012 year, she received the BTC Faculty Haskell Excellence Award; this allowed her to train at the Notter School of Pastry Arts, in Florida, thus enhancing her sugar arts techniques.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certified Culinary Educator, American Culinary Federation - 2006

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2006

    Certified Working Pastry Chef, American Culinary Federation - 2006

    Apprenticeship Degree, Chef de Cuisine & Chef de Rang, Salzburg School of Hotel and Restaurant Management - 2006

Photo of Maria deCorpo
Maria deCorpo

Maria is a 30+ - year veteran of the West Coast food and wine industry. After graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in NY she settled in the heart of California Wine Country, Sonoma County, where she worked as a Chef, Sommelier, Culinary Educator and as the owner of a successful food truck business specializing in artisan frozen desserts. Wishing to return to academia Maria joined Bellingham Technical College in August, 2018. Chef deCorpo enjoys helping others reach their goals of working in the foodservice industry. In her free time, Maria loves to garden, build and restore furniture, sew and, believe it or not, cook! She is an avid reader and cinephile and loves to explore the connections between art, culture, history and food.