Pequot Lakes’ Culinary Careers Academy

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

This Culinary Careers 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

  • Smart Cooking (.5 High School Credit)
    This course is an entry level foods class which covers basics in food preparation and cooking methods. Foods included are quick breads/grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy egg cookery, convenience foods and healthy snacks. Guidelines for food nutrition will be emphasized.
  • Culinary Arts I (.5 High School Credit)
    From how to hold a knife properly to ensuring your restaurant makes money, Culinary Arts 1 teaches you what you need to start a career in restaurants. The curriculum blends front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house content starting with an overview of the industry, you’ll move into kitchen essentials – including equipment and culinary techniques – and management essentials like communication and customer service. You’ll spend time in the kitchen honing your ability to cook restaurant quality meals and learn how to keep your guests coming back. You’ll become immersed in hot topics within the industry, such as sustainability and global cuisines. Just as important, you’ll become armed with the skills to find and keep a job within the restaurant industry.
  • Culinary Arts II (.5 High School Credit)
    From culinary techniques to management skills, Culinary Arts 2 industry-driven curriculum provides real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.  By bringing together the restaurant industry and the classroom, Culinary Arts 2 gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents to open doors for fulfilling careers.  It happens through a curriculum that includes all facets of the industry, and sets a high standard of excellence for students and the  industry.  Units of study include: nutrition, desserts, breakfast foods, meat, poultry and seafood, and global cuisine.

Academy Completion Standard

Students wishing to receive a certification for this academy must maintain a ‘B’ or better grade in each course while completing all the courses.

Business and Industry Experiences

Students will have a variety of experiences in this academy which will include working with a professional chef in their classroom, touring local businesses and resorts, listening to hospitality professionals in their classroom and job shadowing culinary professionals.

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, Northwest College, Ridgewater 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