Gourmet Cook Course Details

Penn Foster Career School’s online Gourmet Cooking Certificate program will cover how to create stocks, sauces, and soups; baking and pastry; and breakfast, garde manger, and world cuisines. It also includes cooking labs and videos so you can start impressing family and friends in no time.

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.

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
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

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

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!

Additional Details

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.
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 in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.
Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Short Lessons
Easy-to-Access Lessons
Each lesson is broken into short chapters that allow you to fit learning into whatever time you have available. Don’t have time to finish a lesson? Not a problem - pick up where you left off next time!
Digital Flashcards
Digital Flashcards
A fun and interactive way to test your knowledge before your exams. Find out what information you've mastered, and what material needs additional review.
Sample Gourmet Cooking Lesson

Sample Gourmet Cooking Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Gourmet Cooking course would look like.
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.
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.
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