Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your accredited online learning program consists of ten Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer (or Mac equivalent) and high-speed Internet in order to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: To prepare students to prepare meals for friends, families, and others, while also beginning students on their journey to starting their own catering business.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Know the services commonly offered at catered events and identify a wide range of styles of events
  • Recognize market research, management styles, branding, and how to create written agreements
  • Recognize many types of alcoholic beverages, the history of beer and wine, and the characteristics of the most popular categories of wine
  • Identify the elements of buffet design and setup
  • Understand the basics of food and nutrition and of monitoring food safety and sanitation practices
  • Understand the basic principles of modifying and converting recipes
  • Comprehend what is needed to choose the correct equipment and tools
  • Know how to plan menus, ensure quality of meals, and season and cook food according to recipes
  • Understand preparation, cooking, garnishing, and presentation of food

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Introduction to Catering
Catered events; levels of catering; assessing clients' needs; written agreements.

Instruction Set 2

Dynamics of Catering
Wine and beverages; table service; beverage service; importance of etiquette; fast cleanup.

Food Styles of Catering
Garnishing techniques; food presentation styles and design techniques.

Alcoholic Beverages
Marketing strategies to maximize profitability; efficient bar layout and operation; intoxication warning signs; legal concerns.

Instruction Set 3

The Gourmet Kitchen
Kitchen layout and design; buffet presentation; buffet design and setup; goals of presentation; simple garnishes; basic and advanced presentation.

The Culinary Professional
French kitchen brigade; food-borne illnesses; balanced diets; developing a foundation of flavor; nutrition and food science; food and kitchen safety; measuring ingredients; converting recipe yields; calculating edible portion quantity and cost; identifying kitchen equipment and its uses.

Textbook: The Professional Chef

Video: Chef Skills

• Cooking Lab: Seared Beef
• Cooking Lab: Caramelized Onion Frittata

Instruction Set 4

Stocks, Sauces, and Soups
Identification and uses of bouquet garni, sachet d'épices, mirepoix, and clarified butter; preparation of stocks and sauces; soup ingredients and preparation.

Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs
Identifying fruits, vegetables, and herbs; basic vegetable preparation; decorative techniques; cooking methods for vegetables; effects of herbs in recipes.

Supplement: Cooking Lab: Stir-Fried Beans

Video: Stir-Fried Beans

Instruction Set 5

Mise en place for beef; elements of beef fabrication; basic beef cuts and cooking methods; basic veal cuts and cooking methods; cuts of lamb and pork; cooking methods for lamb and pork; elements of lamb fabrication; braising; principles of curing pork.

• Cooking Lab: Chateaubriand
• Cooking Lab: Rack of Lamb

Video: Filet with Red Wine Mushrooms

Instruction Set 6

Poultry and Game
Poultry cuts; poultry fabrication and trussing; roasting, deep poaching, and sautéing poultry; identifying types of game.

Supplement: Cooking Lab: Stuffed Chicken Breast

Video: Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Instruction Set 7

Fish and Shellfish
Identifying fresh and saltwater fish and shellfish; cleaning and preparing fish and shellfish; cooking methods.

Supplement: Cooking Lab: Striped Sea Bass

Video: Seared Tuna

Instruction Set 8

Grains, Legumes, and Pasta
Identifying grains and legumes; cooking, simmering, and sorting grains; using dried and fresh legumes; cooking pasta; making fresh pasta.

Supplement: Cooking Lab: Sesame Shiitake Noodles

Instruction Set 9

Baking and Pastry
Functions of baking ingredients; cooking sugar; whipping egg whites; yeast breads and quick breads; dessert sauces and creams; preparing pastry doughs and cookies.

Supplement: Cooking Lab: Phyllo Pear Tart

Instruction Set 10

Breakfast, Garde Manger, and World Cuisines
Dairy products and eggs; cooking methods for eggs; omelets, souffles, and quiche; primary elements of garde-manger; creating charcuterie; culinary traditions of the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

Supplement: Cooking Lab: Preparation of an Entire Meal


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.