Online Gourmet Cooking Classes | Penn Foster Career School

Online Cooking Classes

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Gourmet Cooking Program Overview

You're a natural in the kitchen and feel most at home with a chef's knife in hand. Your loved ones have always raved about your tasty creations and you’ve always loved learning about food and flavors. Now, it's time to develop your natural talent with the Penn Foster Career School Gourmet Cooking Certificate program.

In Penn Foster Career School's online cooking classes, you can learn to prepare and serve exquisite meals, all from the comfort of your own home. Whether you want to advance in your culinary career or learn how to create gourmet dishes for your family and friends, this program can help you improve your skills. With Penn Foster Career School, you train at home on your own time, and at a pace that's right for you. And, you can complete the program in as little as three months.

As you work through your online cooking classes, you'll review how to prepare both basic and advanced dishes. Your lessons will cover how to create stocks, sauces, and soups; baking and pastry; and breakfast, garde manger, and world cuisines. The Penn Foster Career School Gourmet Cooking Certificate program also includes cooking labs and videos so you can start impressing family and friends in no time.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

Penn Foster's 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

Course 1

PEP010 Gourmet Cooking: Stocks, Sauces, and Soups

In this course, you'll learn about the ideal layout and design of a gourmet kitchen, the fundamental recipes for making stocks, sauces, and soups, and to appreciate subtle nuances of flavor and texture.


  • Design, setup, and present buffets.
  • Create basic and advanced food presentations.
  • Identify and use bouquet garni, sachet d’épices, mirepoix, and clarified butter. 
  • Prepare stocks and sauces.
  • Learn about soup ingredients and preparation.
Cooking Lab: Caramelized Onion Frittata

In this cooking lab, you'll caramelize onions to create a caramelized onion frittata, and present your dish with one of the beautiful presentation options in this supplement. You'll slice onions, determine if eggs are fresh, sun dry tomatoes, and learn the difference between an omelet, a quiche, and a frittata.

Additional Course Materials

Textbook: The Professional Chef

Video: Chef Skills

Course 2

PEP015 Gourmet Cooking: Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs

This course teaches the essentials about fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and the primary cooking methods.


  • Identify fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
  • Prepare and cook basic vegetable recipes.
  • Understand the effects of herbs in recipes.
Cooking Lab: Stir-Fried Beans

You will stir-fry beans in this cooking lab. Stir-frying is one of the oldest cooking methods in the world. Choose accompaniments for your dish, and create delicious sauces.

Additional Course Material

Video: Stir-Fried Beans

Course 3

PEP020 Gourmet Cooking: Meat

In this course you'll learn to cook remarkable, mouth-watering recipes for beef, veal, lamb, and pork.


  • Identify cuts of meat.
  • Cook, plate, and serve beef, pork, lamb, and veal.
Cooking Lab: Seared Beef

In your first cooking lab supplement, you’ll sear beef with arugula and onions to create a delicious dish.

Cooking Lab: Chateaubriand

Create a creamy, delicious layer of béarnaise sauce with thin, carefully placed slices of filet—seared to perfection—accompanied by olive-shaped château potatoes.

Cooking Lab: Rack of Lamb

In this cooking lab, you'll create a French rack of lamb served with mint chutney.

Additional Course Material

Video: Filet with Red Wine Mushrooms

Course 4

PEP025 Gourmet Cooking: Poultry and Game

This course will teach you how to add variety to your diet by preparing different cuts of poultry and cooking it using various methods.


  • Roast, deep poach, and sauté poultry to experiment with different flavors.
Cooking Lab: Stuffed Chicken Breast

Prepare a chicken breast stuffed with cheese, olives, and herbs. Then, prepare chicken breasts using the alternative recipes and presentation options presented in this cooking lab.

Additional Course Material

Video: Stuffed Chicken Breast

Course 5

PEP030 Gourmet Cooking: Fish and Shellfish

In this course, you’ll 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.


  • Identify, clean, and prepare fresh and saltwater fish and shellfish.
  • Boil, broil, and fry fish and shellfish.
Cooking Lab: Striped Sea Bass

In this cooking lab, prepare a whole striped sea bass stuffed with herbs.

Additional Course Material

Video: Seared Tuna

Course 6

PEP035 Gourmet Cooking: Grains, Legumes, and Pasta

This course will familiarize you with the many flavors and textures of legumes, grains, and pasta.


  • Identify different types of grains, legumes, and pasta.
  • Cook, simmer, and sort grains.
  • Make your own fresh pasta, and determine what sauce goes best with your fresh, homemade pasta.
Cooking Lab: Sesame Shiitake Noodles

Cook Sesame Shiitake Noodles, a delicious, robust dish with garlic, ginger, and shiitake mushrooms. Select a grater, and learn about different types of ginger.

Course 7

PEP040 Gourmet Cooking: Baking and Pastry

This course will teach you how to create delicious baked goods.


  • Identify the ingredients most often used in baking.
  • Identify the differences between yeast breads and quick breads.
  • Cook sugar and whip egg whites.
  • Prepare pastries, cookies, dessert sauces, and creams.
Cooking Lab: Phyllo Pear Tart

In this cooking lab, create a delicious phyllo pear tart with a beautiful presentation, and pair it with dessert wine!

Course 8

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

In this final course of gourmet cooking, you’ll learn about breakfast delights, tasty sandwiches, appetizers, and hors d’oeuvres, as well as culinary practices around the world.


  • Learn about dairy products and eggs.
  • Make eggs, omelets, soufflés, and quiche.
  • Compare a soft-boiled egg and a poached egg.
  • Describe the primary elements of garde manger.
  • Create charcuterie.
Cooking Lab: Preparation of an Entire Meal

In this cooking lab, prepare an entire meal of red cabbage and spinach salad, salmon in parchment with shrimp and peppers, and chartreuse melon with berries. Each piece of the meal will come out on time and delicious!

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Gourmet Cooking sample lesson, click here.

Gourmet Cooking Program Details

Penn Foster Career School will help you gain the knowledge and skills to create gourmet dishes like chateaubriand, striped sea bass, and sesame shiitake noodles.

National Restaurant Association (NRA) ServSafe Food Handler Certification

Graduates of our Gourmet Cooking Program can take the National Restaurant Association (NRA) ServSafe Food Handler online training course and certification exam at no additional cost. This certification is required for anyone working in an environment that involves food handling.

State Licensing Information

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Online Cooking Classes

The Gourmet Cooking Certificate Program teaches the skills that will help you create delicious and memorable cuisines. This is a great option whether you want to improve your skills professionally, or in your own kitchen for friends and family. Here are a few qualities that effective cooks have in common:

  • Self-motivated: You like to take charge of projects and organize tasks.
  • Organized: You keep food and cooking ingredients in the right places.
  • Flexible: Complicated recipes often require time and patience.
  • Healthy: You are conscious of healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.

I just recently graduated, and this program gave me the courage to start my own business. I would definitely recommend Penn Foster to others. Their support was tremendous. Thank you all for the encouragement.... Penn Foster rocks!!!

- Dahlia R., Penn Foster Graduate

I want to encourage anyone wishing to do a program with Penn Foster. You will get assistance and gain tremendous benefit from Penn Foster.

- Claudia W., Penn Foster Student

I would like to say that enrolling with Penn Foster Career School was the best choice that I ever made. I would recommend Penn Foster. I just have to say 'Thank You' to Penn Foster for achieving my goal.

- Francisco C., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • ServSafe Food Handler online course and certification
  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids, including five videos to help you understand each step in the preparation and presentation of a gourmet meal
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Gourmet Cooking Certificate academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What is the ServSafe Food Handler course and certification?

Since 1919, ServSafe has been a leader in the restaurant industry and a partner of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation. This certification will help to prepare you to work in an environment that requires food handling. Add this trusted certification to your resume to build your professional credibility.

Is the cost of the ServSafe Food Handler course and certification included in my tuition?

Yes, there is no additional cost to you for this course and certification.

What does Penn Foster Career School’s Gourmet Cooking Certificate Program cover in its curriculum?

The Gourmet Cooking Certificate Program will teach you the skills to make memorable and delicious cuisines. The program is segmented by food type and includes, but is not limited to, meat, poultry and game, fish and shellfish, and baking and pastries. For a full description, please see the curriculum details.

More FAQs >

The completion of a certificate-level program does not typically qualify a student for employment. Completion of this program may assist students who have previous academic or work related experience improve their chances for promotion or entry-level employment.

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