Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts - Certificate

If you grew up cooking in your mom’s kitchen and are now a Food Network fan, then Bellingham Technical College's Culinary Arts certificate may give you the training you need to pursue your career in the restaurant and food service industry. Enter the exciting, fast-paced world of the food service industry through this certificate program; then, launch your career wherever you want to go.

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

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

97% BTC graduate placement rate1

$37,046 starting annual wage2
$42,683 average annual wage2
$52,852 potential annual wage2


BTC Culinary Arts graduation rates: The graduation rate reflects the percentage of students starting in the Culinary Arts program who receive a Culinary Arts degree within three years.

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

  • Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

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.

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: 55

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • CUL 110Sanitation & Safety2 CR
  • CUL 112Introduction to Hospitality2 CR
  • CUL 114Culinary Skill Development I6 CR
  • CUL 118Commercial Kitchen Equipment2 CR
  • CUL 142Nutrition2 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • AMATH 100Applied Occupational Math5 CR
  • Or higher
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • OR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • OR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • CUL 122Culinary Skill Development II6 CR
  • CUL 126Pastry Skill Development I6 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • Or higher
  • CUL 144American Regional a' la carte Cookery7 CR
  • CUL 146Pastry Skill Development II7 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing the Culinary Arts certificate, 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, classical cookery techniques in American regional cuisines, and define product specifications.
  • 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.

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 nearly unlimited list of potential food service employers includes restaurants, hotels, catering companies, industrial cafeterias, hospitals, schools, bakeries, and pastry shops.

Faculty & Support

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

    Certificate, Servsafe Certification, National Restaurant Association

    Certified Culinary Educator, American Culinary Association

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    Certified Executive Chef, American Culinary Association

    AOS, Culinary Arts, The Culinary Institute of America

Nicole has cooked professionally for 20 years. She has always loved the restaurant industry and has explored many facets including restaurant management, catering and banquet chef, corporate training and opening of properties, butchering, front of the house, bartending and beverage service, brewing, coffee service and private chef. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program at South Seattle Community College in 2003. She ran a catering company and managed a restaurant before changing gears to teaching at Bellingham Technical College. In her last 11 years at BTC, Nicole has advanced in positions starting as a temporary instructional technician then moving into teaching as a part-time adjunct instructor. She is now a full-time instructor and is also responsible for purchasing in the Culinary & Pastry Arts programs.


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email