Our Programs

Our programs were developed with your successful future in mind

Whether you want to pursue a career in Culinary Arts as an Executive Chef or as a Pastry Chef, SDCI offers a comprehensive program in both disciplines.

Both our Cuisine and Pastry programs were built around the same fundamentals: Small class sizes, career mentorship from our certified Chef Instructors, and hands-on training to learn the proper skills and techniques you'll need to succeed in any fine-dining kitchen environment. Both programs consist of lecture classes including Safety/Sanitation and Entrepreneurship. Both programs have 80% of their coursework conducted in the kitchen classroom which means more time to master your techniques. They also both end with an Externship program where you have the opportunity to work in the kitchen of a fine dining restaurant, resort, hotel, or catering company for 220 hours.

Commis Culinary Method
The Savory Kitchen

The Advanced Professional Diploma in Cuisine program represents the culmination of years of research and program development by some of the finest culinary educators in the country. Based upon proven methods of culinary education and incorporating current thinking on how people learn, the Commis Method leads aspiring Chefs through a more logical series of courses. This is an educational strategy that makes more sense. Each course in the series leads naturally to the next and relies inevitably on the preceding.

This is a hands-on program (80% of your studies take place in the kitchen). We believe that culinary students learn more working in a kitchen, with product. At SDCI, every student prepares food every day — no fighting for space or kitchen resources with other students. And again, you learn techniques, not recipes. With a command of foundational techniques, Commis students can execute virtually any recipe from any cookbook, rather than a limited number of dishes taught out of a cookbook.

Course Overview

We've designed the Cuisine curriculum around three main course sequences:

1. The Introductory Lecture Series: this series of courses introduces the students to the kitchen, business, and theory concepts that they will study throughout the program.

2. The Lab Series: over 80% of your coursework will take place in the kitchen/classroom. You will study first simple concepts and prepare simple plates that will become progressively more challenging as you go.

3. The Externship: at the conclusion of your program, you will use your skills in a live professional kitchen under the tutelage of an experienced Executive Chef, committed to furthering your education.

In the Introductory Lecture Series will introduce you to concepts in professionalism, flavor theory, safety and sanitation, and business. These topics form the foundation on which we’ve built the rest of your curriculum and which you will employ in the lab.

In addition to working on your cooking techniques, in the lab you will also work on concepts in business, safety/sanitation, and flavor theory. By studying these topics in the kitchen, working with real product, you will better understand things like menu costing. Only SDCI offers this unique — and successful — method of culinary training.

The only thing we can’t offer you on campus is real-world experience. Nothing can take the place of a busy kitchen and a dining room full of hungry and demanding diners. The Externship program at SDCI has placed students with many of the best restaurants in the world — as ranked by the Michelin and other world-class restaurant guides. No culinary school offers better opportunities than SDCI.

Flavor and Business

The Executive Chef must be more than just the best cook in the kitchen. The Chef must understand the ‘how’s and ‘why’s of flavor and must know how to cook, not just well, but profitably.

Only the Commis Curriculum trains you in the intricacies of flavor, how they interact with the human physiology. You will learn to engage with your cooking, not just the sense of taste, but all five of the diner’s senses — even touch and hearing.

By combining your superior understanding of cooking technique, with an understanding of the business fundamentals at work in the professional kitchen, you will excel in your career and climb the ranks quickly.


For Gainful Employment information on our Cuisine Program, click HERE.

Advanced Professional Diploma in Pastry
The Sweet Kitchen

As each new class in Pastry begins, the previous class prepares for graduation. Graduating students perfect their wedding cakes and chocolate sculpture work for final exams while the new entering students invariably drop their jaws in admiration of the artistry of the graduating class.

Every term, the new students say they can’t imagine themselves with the skills and the talent to create work like that. And every term those same new students become the graduating students preparing work at the same impressively high level.

Our instructors — and, in turn, our students — set a very high standard of performance for each new class. And each new class rises to meet it. You will, too.

Mastering the Art and Science

Among culinarians, we refer to cuisine as 'art' and the bake shop as 'science.' Both the sweet and the savory kitchens demand both art and science, but there is some truth in the idea that the bake shop relies more on science.

There is some truth to this, but like many truisms it only describes half the story. Bakers and patissiers (pastry Chefs) must execute their creations with a great deal of precision; a dollop too much flour or a pinch too little of yeast will completely alter the chemistry of your bread or cake. At SDCI, we will teach you the science you need to know to make it taste perfect, as well as the art you need to make it look stunning.

Take a look at the photos on our Facebook site of the work our prior students have done. You will agree: our students achieve a high degree of mastery of both the art and the science.

Learn the Ins and Outs of Sweets

The artistry of the bake shop comes in decoration and plate presentations. Learn the skills you need to create spectacular wedding cakes. Discover the secrets of chocolate, making fine candies, and how to mold it into a little Chef, a box to hold truffles, and much more.

The Pastry Program incorporates the same concepts of the Commis Method of study as we have introduced into our Cuisine Program.  Students of this intensive program in baking and pastry emerge with the skills to create an astounding array of candies, desserts, wedding cakes, breads, plated desserts — and others essential to the bake shop.

Our students have gone on to win medals in sanctioned competition even while still in school.


For Gainful Employment information on our Pastry Program, click HERE.