Course Syllabus

Food, Culture, and Society

Mr. Tom Denman

Students will receive instruction in the use of advanced baking techniques and cooking methods. This includes dessert preparation, knife and tool skills, meat and seafood preparation, and menu planning. The course will explore the history and traditions of cultures from around the world. Through project based learning, students will prepare recipes and develop a holistic understanding of food production and techniques.

Unit Objectives

  • Perform food preparation duties
  • Master kitchen safety and sanitation
  • Identify measuring equipment, equivalents, and correct metrics
  • Identify and perform a variety of cooking terms and methods
  • Explore scientific principles in food preparation
  • Explore the history and traditions of cuisines from around the world


  • Labs - 60%
    • Must be in class to receive full credit
    • Most points are awarded for participation and cooperation with group members
  • Quizzes - 20%
    • Quizzes on weekly topics will be given periodically
  • Exams - 20%
    • There will be a mid-term and comprehensive final exam.


Students should be on time for daily check-ins and for instruction to begin.  

If absent - all work must be completed before the next class

Labs cannot be made-up

Attendance policies will follow the student handbook.

Outline for the Semester:

  1. Safety and Sanitation
  1. Develop an understanding of the basic principles of sanitation and safety, and be able to apply them in the foodservice operations. -
  2.  Proper food storage 
  1. Cooking Terms and Equipment
  1. Skills in knife, tool, and equipment handling 
  1. Cooking Equivalent and Measurements
  2. Basics
    1. Menu planning
    2. History, tradition, and context of cuisines
  3. Baking
    1. Breads
    2. Pastry
    3. Pies, cookies, and cakes
    4. Savory baking
  4. Cooking
    1. Meat, poultry, and seafood
    2. Mother sauces
    3. Pasta making

Health and Safety

General Expectations

  • Hands should be washed immediately upon entry to the food lab for 20 seconds with soap under warm/hot water.
  • Hands should also be washed after all of the following…
  • Blowing one’s nose, coughing, and/or sneezing
  • Before and after preparing food
  • Before and after eating prepared food
  • Students should avoid touching their eyes, nose, mouth, and/or facemask during lab.
  • Clean (hot, soapy water) all work surfaces (counters, sinks, stoves) upon entry and before leaving. 
  • Sanitize all work surfaces and frequently used surfaces (sink handles, cabinet handles, etc) upon entry and exit.
  • Sanitizing solution should be left on the surface for at least 60 seconds before wiping off. 
  • Please use the disposable, heavy duty paper towels. Dispose of when done.
  • Remain in the assigned work area/lab during the entirety of the lab. 
  • This maintains general safety.