Gourmet Cooking Certificate

Program Outline

Your program consists of courses designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in Gourmet Cooking.

Here's how it works
Your first course will be sent to you as soon as your enrollment has been accepted. Other courses will follow as you complete your exams, so that you will always have the study materials needed for your coursework.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The Gourmet Cooking Certificate Program instructs students on the fundamentals of various cooking methods, as well as the tricks and techniques to create flavorful gourmet presentations.

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

  • Identify features and preparation techniques for creating foundations of flavor and texture in a variety of stocks, sauces, and soups
  • Select the proper buffet setup for different situations and specific techniques for garnishing and presenting individual dishes
  • Recognize a variety of fruit, vegetable and herb preparation and cooking techniques, including cutting techniques such as julienne and chiffonade, and cooking methods such as braising, parboiling, and stir-frying
  • Comprehend the best cooking methods, such as grilling and sautéing, for different occasions and different cuts of meat, such as medallions and short loins
  • Differentiate among various game and their characteristics, and recognize proper trussing and cooking techniques which prevent food-borne illness
  • Identify features of popular fish and shellfish, the signs of fresh and spoiled seafood, and classic cooking techniques
  • Comprehend proper preparation and cooking techniques for a variety of grains and legumes from all over the world, and identify types of and the proper cooking method for pasta
  • Comprehend the techniques needed to make classic baked pastry dishes such as Swiss and Italian meringue, ganache, and various doughs, cookies, and cakes
  • Identify popular cooking techniques of eggs, dairy, and forcemeats, and features of popular sandwich breads.
  • Recognize ingredients, styles, and cooking techniques used in international cuisine

PEP010 Gourmet Cooking: Stocks, Sauces, and Soups

In this course, students will be introduced to the layout and design of gourmet kitchens, as well as buffet design, setup, and presentations. Students will also learn the fundamental recipes for making stocks, sauces, and soups. Students will learn to appreciate subtle nuances of flavor and texture by experimenting with various recipes for sauces and soups.

  • Lesson 1: The Gourmet Kitchen
  • Lesson 2: Stocks and Sauces
  • Lesson 3: Soups
  • DVD: Chef’s Skills
  • Textbook: The Professional Chef
  • Cooking Lab: Seared Beef
  • Cooking Lab: Carmelized Onion Frittata

PEP015 Gourmet Cooking: Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs

Students will learn the essentials about fruits, vegetables, and herbs, followed by a basic mise en place. They will work through their textbook to learn the primary cooking methods for vegetables and fruit, including grilling and roasting; sautéing and frying; submersion and steaming; and braising and stewing.

  • Lesson 1: The Basics of Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs
  • Lesson 2: Cooking Methods for Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs
  • DVD: Stir-Fried Beans
  • Cooking Lab: Stir-Fried Beans

PEP020 Gourmet Cooking: Meat

Working through the material in this course, students will learn to cook remarkable, mouth-watering recipes for beef, veal, lamb, and pork. This course includes an enormous amount of information that will help students reach their goal of learning to prepare and cook meat. Cooking methods include grilling and broiling; roasting and baking; sautéing and frying; steaming and submersion; and braising and stewing.

  • Lesson 1: Beef and Veal
  • Lesson 2: Lamb and Pork
  • Cooking Lab: Chateaubriand
  • Cooking Lab: Rack of Lamb
  • DVD: Filet with Red Wine Mushrooms

PEP025 Gourmet Cooking: Poultry and Game

Students are up for an adventurous experience in this course. Not only will they learn to prepare chicken and other poultry dishes, they'll find an intriguing exploration of game meat preparation. They will also learn to appreciate the importance of achieving the expertise that will turn common chicken into an extraordinary culinary experience.

  • Lesson 1: The Basics of Poultry
  • Lesson 2: Cooking Methods for Poultry and Game
  • DVD: Stuffed Chicken Breast
  • Cooking Lab: Stuffed Chicken Breast

PEP030 Gourmet Cooking: Fish and Shellfish

Because of the enormous nutritional value of fish and as people become more health-conscious, there’s an increasing demand for fresh fish served in delectable ways. In this course, students will learn to take advantage of the wealth of available fish and shellfish by experimenting with the many preparation techniques to create light, healthful fish and shellfish dishes.

  • Lesson 1: The Basics of Fish and Shellfish
  • Lesson 2: Cooking Methods for Fish and Shellfish
  • DVD: Seared Tuna
  • Cooking Lab: Striped Sea Bass

PEP035 Gourmet Cooking: Grains, Legumes, and Pasta

In this course, students will explore the many flavors and textures of legumes, grains, and pasta. With comprehensive cooking instructions, students will have the opportunity to explore new combinations and flavors using these age-old staples.

  • Lesson 1: Grains
  • Lesson 2: Legumes
  • Lesson 3: Pasta
  • Cooking Lab: Sesame Shiitake Noodles

PEP040 Gourmet Cooking: Baking and Pastry

Many professional chefs find that bread, pastry, and desserts are among the most pleasing dishes they make. In this course, students will learn about the ingredients most often used in baking. Students will learn the differences in yeast breads and quick breads. They will also learn about a variety of dessert sauces and creams, as well as how to prepare pastry dough and cookies.

  • Lesson 1: Baking
  • Lesson 2: Pastry
  • Cooking Lab: Phyllo Pear Tart

PEP045 Gourmet Cooking: Breakfast, Garde Manger, and World Cuisines

In this final course of gourmet cooking, students will learn an unusual mix of information—from breakfast delights, to tasty sandwiches, to appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. These recipes allow the student to create clever, tempting taste experiences. This course concludes with an expansive-yet-concise tour of culinary practices around the world.

  • Lesson 1: Breakfast and Garde Manger
  • Lesson 2: World Cuisines
  • 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.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this program.