Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Apr 6, 2010 09:25 AM


I was just wondering what is the difference bewteen the culinary art I for generation interests and the professional? what is taught differently? Can someone provide me specific examples in the class? Iam struggling on which one I should go.........Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Assuming you mean the different streams of Culinary Arts in GBC Con. Ed., the general interest stream (Culinary Arts) is more to enhance your skills and knowledge while professional (Culinary Skills [chef training]) is more intensive, requiring you to complete more courses, including courses specific to working in a restaurant.

    So, for example, general interest covers the basics, then some specific kinds of cooking. Professional requires you to take hospitality math, a business course, a computer course, etc.

    If your goal is to become a chef, you go the professional route. If you are doing this for yourself, go with general interest. You can always continue to take more specific courses after completing the general interest certificate and build on those skills.

    1 Reply
    1. re: c.cow

      Hi thank you for your reply. Yes by profession I actually means the CON ED. So if just ignore the other courses in the professional but only on the culinary skill course, is it true that general interests one is for people who never cook? or what is the level of general interests? Do they just follow the recipes like cooking at home?

    2. Uknow, the administrative folks at GBC are friendly and helpful. Give them a call to explore your options. You may find a mix of courses best suits your needs.

      5 Replies
        1. re: superuknow

          I teach both the professional stream and the general interest stream for Culinary at GB Con Ed. The major difference between the two courses is commitment to the profession.

          I find the Arts 1 course a very much show and tell, fun atmosphere of people getting together to learn about cooking from the basic stocks to coq au vin. it is a very leisure atmosphere within certain guidelines. It is also a pass/fail marking criteria, mainly based on attendance. You are demonstrated 4-5 dishes and are expected to reproduce at least one of them in the 4 hours.

          The Skills is more hard core, at least in my class. I treat the class like a real kitchen. What i mean by that is that professionalism, sanitation, timeliness, orderliness, efficiencies and effective use of time are all evaluated. The students ability to watch and comprehend cooking methods and techniques is evaluated as well. This class is on for two nights the first night is all demo, I create all the dishes that the students are expected to prepare the next day and then some extra dishes for the students to try.
          The second night is all the students they must arrive 15 mins prior to the start of the class, and set up their stations. Then they are expected to have their dishes prepared and plated for presentation to the instructor by a specific time. At which time the dish is tasted and evaluated by the instructor and real time feed back and marking is provided.
          There is an oral presentation and a practical exam which contributes 25% to their mark and the remaining 75 % is pulled from their lab mark.

          Hope this helps

          1. re: Chef_Instructor

            I completed the Culinary Arts 1 course and it was definitely fun and informative, without being stressful or too hardcore. While I felt like some of the recipes were too basic and uninspired (i.e. cold pasta salad), I did pick up some valuable skills, such as proper knife skills, stocks and sauces and other techniques. The meat lasanga you learn to make is so delicious.

            I signed up for the course with 3 friends and this is exactly the kind of way to do it. You start off every class with a short lecture, maybe 1 hour at the most, learning the week's lesson, watching the instructor demonstrate and walk you through the recipe, then you head down to the cooking classrooms for 2-3 hours to do some cooking. This is where my friends and I always had a great time chatting and laughing while cooking because the class has a very relaxed feel. You learn, but it's also fun. If that's what you're looking for, I highly recommend it. It's a great price too considering how many weeks the course lasts, and you leave every class with massive tray of food that's enough for 4-6 people to enjoy.

            1. re: Platoputas

              I took the same course a few years ago and agree it was a lot of fun. (We even got to sip wine in the kitchen although I bet that's not allowed any more). I learned quite a bit that you can't learn from cookbooks or TV shows because the chef explains a lot during the demo and you get to ask questions.

              You do get teamed up with at least one other person so if you have a friend who's interested, that may be the way to go. If not, it's an opportunity to meet new people interested in food.

              And platoputas is so right -- you go home with massive amounts of food every week.

            2. re: Chef_Instructor

              I took the course Introduction to Baking arts and it was amazing as well. I am planning on taking more courses. Like the other posters the course does teach the basics and much of it I knew but there were also a lot of things I didn't know and I was happy to have learned all the tips and tricks of good baking. Even after just the introduction course my baking is much much better than it was.

        2. Great post. I've been thinking about doing a course since forever.

          2 Replies
          1. re: neighborguy

            My husband took culinary arts 1 and I took baking arts. Both classes were great and even if you are comfortable in the kitchen there are tips you will take away. Definitely worth the money just for the amount of food you walk away with each week!

            1. re: panko

              The baking classes are definitely worth the money. I'm learning a lot and making great friends. The smiles on everyone's faces at the end of the class when fresh baked goodies are coming out of the oven about to be inhaled is quite a wonderful sight ;-) The classes themselves are pretty addictive. I started with the Baking Arts, took the Art of Breads next (came home with about 35 loaves of bread during the 10 week course) and starting Pies next. The instructors are great, they share their experiences, tips and alternates for any dietary issues. The emphasis is definitely on learning the techniques. Most of the recipes used in class are average in flavour but you do come away with the skills to experiment with better quality ingredients at home.

          2. I took the professional version on Saturdays in 2006. Loved it. If your goal is to learn as much as possible, then this is the way to go. You're expected to dress like a chef, cook and clean up properly. I use the skills gained in this class everyday when I cook at home. Your friends and family will love the meals you bring home from school. Take the professional if you have the time and energy and are prepared to WORK. Sort of like a Boot Camp for the culinary arts. If your goal is to have fun, make friends without breaking a sweat, then take the general interest version.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jnine

              Excellent POV the other thing with the Saturday version it is all in one day...the demo happens in the morning and the lab happens after lunch. Good for the students but (IMHO) very exhausting for the instructor!!!