Aitkin’s Restaurant & Culinary Skills Career Academy

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One in three Americans got their first job in the restaurant industry, and many take that opportunity to build life long careers. Aitkin High School is now offering a Restaurant & Culinary Skills Career Academy that is enhanced with ProStart principles.

This Restaurant & Culinary Skills Career Academy offers students:

  • A strong academic foundation AND marketable skills, including oral and written communications, customer relations, guest retention, teamwork and time management, as well as practical skills necessary to gain entry-level employment or the basic knowledge to continue on to higher education.
  • A successful professional mentor for each school, offering a vital connection for students needing a reference or referral for that first job.
  • The ability to earn a certificate and receive an honor cord and special recognition at high school graduation.
  • “First in line” opportunities for local hospitality jobs and internships
  • The opportunity to participate in state and national competitions
  • Eligibility for industry scholarships (depending on the high school’s program)

Academy Courses (select 3 of the 5 courses)

  • Restaurant & Culinary Skills (5 High School Credit)
    Are you considering a career as a chef, baker, caterer, restaurant manager? If so this career-focused course is for you. The course is a hands-on culinary course in which students will develop their culinary skills through using proper techniques during food labs. Students learn restaurant management skills essential to run a successful food services establishment. Topics include; safety and sanitation, cost control, salads and garnishes, purchasing and inventory, meat, poultry and seafood, marketing, desserts and baked goods. The course is one period class for quarters 1 and 2 and two periods class for quarters 3 and 4.
  • Foods I (1 High School Credit)
    This beginning foods course focuses on kitchen safety, meal planning and food preservation. Topics include kitchen safety, food sanitation, and nutrition, using local foods and selection and use of equipment. Food preparation experiences will include fruits, vegetables, meats and poultry. Consumer awareness of factors affecting cost and nutrition with cooking will be stressed.
  • Foods II (1 High School Credit)
    In this course, students will learn how math and chemistry work together in the kitchen. The course is designed for students who are interested in further course work involving food preparation. Students learn preparation techniques and principles used in baking and advances techniques for meal preparation. Main units include: kitchen equipment, measuring, and ingredient functions, candy, pies and pastries, soups, and salads.
  • Global Foods  (1 High School Credit)
    This course gives you a firsthand opportunity to cook foods that come from other parts of the world. Students learn customs, eating patterns, cultures of countries and create many different ethnic cuisines. Internationals Foods concentrated on traditional food preparations with plenty of hands-in opportunities.

Academy Completion Standard

Students wishing to receive a certification for this academy must complete 3 of the 4 courses, have no more than 2 unexcused absences during model restaurant, and pass each course with a B or better.

Business and Industry Experiences

Students will attend a Career Fair and learn “Serv Safe” Principles for the industry. Restaurant Prep/Independent studies are available and student may gain employment and local restaurants. Students will tour an Aitkin restaurant, listen to culinary speakers, tour Rutgers and experience presentations from local chefs.

Job Skills

In addition to having technical skills, employers expect their workers to have other skills such as:

  • Active Listening and Speaking Skills
  • Attention to Details
  • Team Work
  • Reliability
  • Problem Solving
  • Oral and Written Communications Skills
  • Ability to Work With Customers

Careers Options

Chef, Pastry Chef, Short Order Preparation Specialist, Caterer, Event Food Planner, Restaurant Manager, Hospitality Event Specialist, Nutritionals, Herbalist, Food Service Manager, Food and Wine Specialist, Convention Planners, Resort Mangers, Administrative Service Managers, Agents, Customer Service Agents, Supervisors, Marketing Agents

Job Outlook

Resort business positions 33% growth for Central Minnesota

Postsecondary Programs

Please check at for colleges that offer educational programs for this Career Academy such as: Anoka Technical College, Central Lakes College, M State Community College, Century College, North East Hibbing Community College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, DeVry College, Ridgewater Community College, Rochester Community and Technical College, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, Southwest Minnesota State University, Hennepin Technical College, Alexandria Technical and Community College, St. Cloud State University, Normandale Community College