“My experience has been fantastic at this college.”

-- Robert Walker, Culinary Arts Student

Program Overview

Whether you have been inspired by a famous chef or just love creating in the kitchen, our dynamic culinary program provides you with the professional training needed to succeed in the field.

Foodservice careers require long hours and hard work, and this program is built on an apprenticeship model so our students gain hands-on experience that is indicative of real-world challenges. Students will learn first-hand from working in our dining room and deli, Technique, which is open to the public four days a week. At the same time, students take classes related to cooking and creativity along with classes in nutrition, sanitation, safety, and business operations. The program is rigorous and challenging but also professionally rewarding. Our students have opportunities to showcase their skills in the annual SkillsUSA Competition, both regionally and nationally. Many have earned gold, silver, and bronze medals.

At College of Western Idaho (CWI), our program is fully accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and offers several certificate options and a two-year associate degree. Once you have your two-year degree, you can pursue additional education to become an ACF-certified chef.

What will you learn to do?

  • Nutrition
  • Sanitation
  • Safety
  • Business operations

What kind of degree(s) can you earn?

What else should you know?

Students must attend a mandatory orientation session prior to registering for classes.


This program is fully accredited by the American Culinary foundation Educational Institute. Associated of Applied Science Degree graduates are eligible to apply ACF certification.


Degree Plan

Note: Students must attend a mandatory orientation session prior to registering for classes. View schedule below for upcoming sessions.


Instructor Info

Program Chair:
Kelly Steely

Nicholas Duncan

Jackie McDonald

Sonja Degenhardt

Career Info

What kind of career can you expect?

You may begin your exciting hospitality career in a wide variety of businesses, virtually anywhere around the world. Your skills will be needed by fine-dining establishments, resorts, catering companies, hotels, airlines, bakeries, home meal replacement businesses, and commercial foodservice facilities.

Those who are considering enrollment are advised to give serious consideration to the long hours of difficult work required, both at college and in your subsequent employment within the foodservice industry.

What skills, traits, or prep classes would be helpful?

  • Can manage and cook in a foodservice setting
  • Have both theory training and hands-on experience
  • Have basic business skills
  • Understand and utilize the latest technologies
  • Display analytical skills
  • Have a knowledge of and passion for food
  • Are flexible and dependable
  • Display ethical and enthusiastic behavior
  • Are skilled at oral and written communication
  • Utilize excellent interpersonal and team skills
  • Can perform critical thinking and complex problem-solving
  • Understand how to manage profitability and significantly enhance the bottom line
  • Anticipate the wants and needs of increasingly sophisticated customers and respond with the latest ideas
  • Have a sense of timing, speed, stamina, and dexterity
  • Have a good work ethic and are able to perform under pressure
  • Are dedicated to continuous learning