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High School Classes Needed to Become a Chef

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Culinary programs help chefs learn and hone their trade. The programs often require a high school diploma. Some high school classes benefit potential chefs in the areas of kitchen and food preparation, the science of food sanitation and taste, and in opening and managing a restaurant.

Cooking and Food Preparation

Basic high school cooking classes teach students how to properly broil, grill and barbeque food, to avoid raw meats and about improper food preparation. These cooking classes also focus on avoiding cross-contamination, handling vegetables and meats in the same kitchen and identifying different tools and equipment in the kitchen. Each cooking class differs for each high school or school board.

Biology and Sciences

Sciences classes, such as biology and chemistry, teach students what happens with germs and viruses in foods and the human body, such as the process of food poisoning and the effects of raw foods consumed by humans. Chemistry, such as molecular gastronomy, is frequently used in high-end chef dishes. Having experience working with chemicals allows the chef to be experimental.

Business Administration

Business administration classes are helpful for aspiring chefs, especially for those who wish to open their own restaurant or become a manager or supervisor for an established restaurant. High school business classes teach students how to make a budget, operate a business, manage employees and marketing the restaurant.

Additional Schooling

In addition to a high-school diploma, aspiring chefs must complete a culinary program at a post-secondary institution such as a community college, technical school or a culinary arts institution. The focus of the culinary program depends on what type of chef the student wants to become, such as sous chefs, head chef or pastry chef. Additional courses are available for people who wish to start a restaurant, including business courses and entrepreneur classes. Apprenticeships let chefs get formal training, and the American Culinary Federation offers some such programs.


Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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