Pinnacle Culinary Arts Institute
Culinary Sciences:  The Art of Culinary Cooking & Pastry Creations
The 12-week semester will first consist of the Culinary Cooking Module: here, you will learn the theory of culinary arts, gain practical experience in the kitchen while studying the business of cost control, sanitation and safety, menu planning, nutrition and kitchen management. You will learn to produce food quickly and in a high quantity while working with peer students. The next 4 weeks will emphasize all things baking in the Pastry Creations Module. You will learn baking skills with an emphasis on fundamental pastry and bread-making techniques. There will be a specific concentration places on all-purpose baking, desserts, cake decoration and pastry design. **All students will prepare and sit for the ServSafe Sanitation Manager exam.**

Culinary Cooking Module: 
In this 8-week portion of the semester, you will be taught specific skills, which gradually become more complex as the program progresses. You will learn the art of tasting, the basics of flavor palates from herbs and sauces to fruits/ vegetables and meats. Techniques such as knife skills, dry- and moist cooking methods, sauce making and pastry and baking will be taught. Increasing complex concepts will be introduced allowing students to grasp the ideas of complex dishes and menu design. 

Pastry Creations Module: 
The content of the Pastry Creations module, taught over the next 4 weeks, introduces students to the world of baking, pastry making, decoration and presentation. We use a 5-skill model addressing skill development, pastry theory, pastry technique, palate training and efficiency. This module offers hands-on experience of the components of baking including breads, cakes, icings and specialty desserts

Most classes will conclude with a group tasting and critique of the day's work by the Chef Instructor. Critiquing the food you have prepared is an important part of the day's lesson. We believe that it is impossible to learn how to cook without learning how to taste. Homework is crucial and periodic examinations will assess each student's progress and mastery of culinary concepts. Click here for our Informational Brochure for Curriculum, Schedule and Tuition Information.

ServSafe Certification Module: 
As part of the The Arts of Culinary Cooking & Pastry Creations Program, PCAI prepares students for the ServSafe examination. Along with the training in culinary skills, students will prepared to take the examination to be certified as a nationally-recognized ServSafe Sanitation Manager. Every student will take the test which is proctored by The Continuation Education program of North Carolina State University and accredited by The National Restaurant Association (NRA). A passing grade of 75% is required to receive this certification. Pinnacle Culinary Arts Institute boasts a 100% passing rate of our last 5 ServSafe classes

Graduates are prepared to seek entry-level employment such as Line Cook, Assistant Baker and Garde Manger.
Learn how nutrition and cooking go hand in hand
Learn the art of baking in Raleigh-Durham


Culinary Sciences to be completed in 12 and 20 weeks, respectively. See below for more details. PCAI's 8,000 square-foot professional facility features small, attentive hands-on class with distinguished Chef instructors that pride themselves on the personal attention they give to students. Located in the heart of Downtown Durham, PCAI offers a vibrant culinary experience with a staff from world-renowned culinary institutes. Whether you've just graduated, are making a career change or just want to polish your skills - Pinnacle programs attract a diverse and ambitious student body from around the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. Convenient morning and evening classes starting in the Fall, Spring and Summer offer students the flexibility to train at one of the Triangle's premier culinary schools. 

One of the most affordaable culinary educations is well within your reach. Because every student's situation is as divers as PCAI's student body, PCAI offers a "menu" of financial aid options. If you are interested in exploring your options, please Click here for Financial Aid
Weeks 1-4
Culinary Skills and Techniques
  • Kitchen Orientation
  • Knife skills
  • Mise en Place, Kitchen safety and sanitation
  • Food Pyramid and Nutrition
Culinary Fundamentals
  • Stocks: vegetable, brown and white
  • Thickening and binding agents
  • Sauces: classic and contemporary
  • Braising, stewing, saute, deep and shallow frying, steaming
  • Vegetable and starch cookery
  • Soups, purees, creams, broths, consomme, chowder, vinaigrette
  • Defining and classifying fruits and vegetables
Weeks 5-8
Food Theory I
  • Fundamentals of Dry Cooking:
        - Grilling
        - Sauteing
  • Fundamentals of Wet Cooking
        - Stewing
        - Steaming
  • ServSafe and Food Sanitation training
  • ServSafe and Food Sanitation examination
Meat/Fish Fabrication
  • Butchering of primal and sub-primal cuts of meat
  • Poultry butchery
  • Fish and seafood classification
  • Preparation fo beoth fish and bi-valves
  • Basic charcuterie
Pinnacle Culinary Arts Institute   |  919-638-8444  |