Introduction

The spectacular development that gastronomy and cuisine-related activities have experienced in recent decades, has highlighted its importance at all levels, including in the social and economic fields. Especially with regard to a more global conception of health and nutrition, the field of agro-food production and the processing industry, to the explosion of the art that has taken place in the commercial catering at the hands of exceptionally creative chefs who have become providers of a new way of understanding the food and kitchen and finally, to the growth of travel and tourism activities linked to gastronomy, which have enhanced visibility and territorial development of many geographic areas. Thus, the need for a new dimension of training in culinary arts and gastronomy, from the University side, provides answers to a sector evolving and makes it possible to train professionals with a comprehensive and cutting edge vision, and with skills that allow them to develop professionally with success and at the same time transfer knowledge and bring talent, creativity and innovation to the sector. UNICAL is honored to join the distinguished group of universities that currently offer this degree.

The Bachelor in Culinary Sciences and Gastronomy offered by UNICAL focuses on preparing international oriented culinary managers with culinary and managerial skills as well as entrepreneurial qualities, who can carry the responsibility for the results of a food and beverage section of a hospitality organization or an independent restaurant or catering business. The training is based on the development of a hands-on mentality.

The program includes abilities on three main levels:

  1. Operational: to perform actions in practical situations, leading to results according to the goals of the organization. Deserving students will receive culinary accreditation by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and by the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE).
  2. Tactical: decision making to improve business processes.
  3. Strategic: in reaction to developments in the environment, designing new product-market combinations leading to improved positioning of the organization.

Given its multidisciplinar character and the various professional development possibilities that it offers, the Bachelor in Culinary Sciences and Gastronomy offers a curriculum that facilitates different levels of specialization. This way, it allows students to choose between two specialization tracks: Haute Cuisine Direction and Gastronomic Innovation, and Culinary Direction and Innovation in the Food industry and the Community. Courses and objectives in these tracks answer to the most important strategic challenges in the sector and, through a flexible program, allow students to personalize their curricula to match their interests and motivations

Objectives

The fundamental objective of the program is to train professionals with knowledge in culinary and gastronomic sciences that will enable them to understand and view the culinary and gastronomic phenomenon from a perspective of scientific, technological, social, cultural, and business management. This holistic perspective will provide them with the necessary skills to innovate, design, produce and manage services in the areas of haute cuisine, the commercial and collective catering, the food industry and the hotel industry, as well as to develop research and development projects in the field of culinary and gastronomic Sciences.

Methodology

The teaching and learning methodologies follow an active an active, experience-based pedagogical paradigm. This involves placing students as the central axis of any learning action, considering their needs, interests and learning concerns. Students are, therefore, the key component around whom the various teaching methodologies are designed, taking into consideration the different learning tempos and contributing to their continuous evaluation.

Theory, practice, knowledge and its applications, and the required experimenting of theories learned, are carefully combined to build a solid theoretical and practical base to foster a successful professional development.

Finally, it must be stressed that the Bachelor’s methodology takes into consideration all specific and transverse competencies, and that the objective of the different teaching activities is to help students master such competencies.

Practicum

This practical training course takes place from the second year in real businesses in the sector. It brings students a unique vision and experience, and provides them with the opportunity of contacting the best business in the hospitality, restaurant and food industry sectors, national as well as international.

The Program

The program curriculum runs in three parallel tracks:

  • The Culinary Track
  • The Management Track
  • The Electives and Languages track

Each track follows a well-designed path from basic to intermediate to advanced knowledge and skills, joining lessons and practices to assure good competence levels. Each track also features some very specific expectations and, in the case of the culinary track, establishes certification and affiliation goals for the students.

Courses

Year Culinary track
Level Themes Expectations Certifications / Affiliations
1 Basic / Entry Hot station
Cold station
Basic skills
Food production
Preparation
Knife handling
NACE student
membership
2 Supervisory I Purchasing
Manu planning
Culinary practicum
International cuisine
Catering
Plan and produce a four course
meal and learn one
international cuisine
-0-
3 Supervisory II Restaurant management
Practicum
FOH skills
Managing a shift as a
supervisor
NACE / ACF certification
4 Managerial Food and culture
Theme dinners
Guest service
Food and labor costing
Planning and managing a major
event – Profitably
Sous-Chef

 

Year Management track
Level Themes Expectations
1 Basic / Entry Introduction to hospitality
Introduction to business
Introduction to management
Basic management and
business knowledge
2 Intermediate I Purchasing
Cost
Business planning
Basic restaurant management and
business knowledge
3 Intermediate II HR management
Case studies
Marketing management
financial management
Entrepreneurship
Intermediate management skills and
knowledge to act as a restaurant
suervisor
4 Advanced Strategic management
Information and communications
Management
Final project
Advanced skills – managerial level
Manage a food operations business

 

Year Parallel tracks
Electives
(One mandatory in each year)
Languages
1 Advanced sauces
Advanced meats
Advanced vegetables and salads
English and spanish
2 Advanced baking
Advanced pastries
Advanced grilling & smoking
Marinades, grilling sauces & rubs
3 Ices carving
Advanced cakes / Sugar art
All about chocolate
Alcohol service
Italian cuisine
French cuisine
Indian cuisine
Japanese cuisine
4 Sommelier certification
Confections / Candy making
Bar tending
Mediterranean cuisine
Latin American cuisine
Caribbean cuisine
Mexican cuisine
Thai cuisine

The Final Degree Project

The Final Degree Project (FDP) is the culmination of the degree learning process, where the skills acquired, as well as their application and development are reflected. It is a work of either research or application in which students, depending on their interests and professional motivations, analyze in depth some aspect of the chosen specialization.

An FDP adapted to the motivations of the student

Individual: the student develops his own research work under the guidance of a teacher. Students can also orient your FDP towards the development of a project in companies, institutions or non-governmental organizations (at a local or international level).

Collective: the student develops work from their participation in a research group, with direct tutoring from a Professor member of the team. The student also has the possibility to participate in inter-university groups with students from different universities /countries.

The evaluation of the Final Degree Project

With the completion of the FDP, the level of competence that the student has achieved during its formation is evaluated, checking the maturity of the student, his/her ability to autonomously apply these competencies and develop methods of investigation and resolution of problems in the field of specialization of the chosen degree.

This function is carried out through the development of deepening and synthesis of the knowledge and skills acquired in the subjects for the degree.

To carry out this type of evaluation, we have designed a combined system of evidences, each one of them answering to different achievement levels in different items related with the object of the course. Thus, three elements of valuation are established, in which different aspects can be considered:

  • Preparing a written memoir
  • Writing an article
  • Defending the project, virtually or orally

Evaluators assigned to each FDP organs carry out their assessment based on delivered materials (project and article) and his defense.

Finally, it must be remembered that the FDP is, and so it should be also perceived by all those involved, a real and useful training tool, in which student must reflect not only his/her assimilation of knowledge, but his/her creativity and ability in the decision-making (from the selection of the topic up to the planning of future strategies), and which at the same time becomes a vehicle of research and to increase the knowledge of the tourism, hotel and gastronomic sector, in which, by its transversality, changing mood and in short, as social phenomenon, still remain many areas unexplored.

Fields and career opportunities

The diversity and the richness of the activities related to culinary processes and gastronomy allow the graduate to work, to generate new business opportunities and to develop functions with different degrees of responsibility and autonomy in different types of organizations and enterprises of different sub-sectors:

  • Commercial restaurants.
  • Social or collective catering.
  • Hospitality. Catering services offered by the hotel sector.
  • Gastronomy and health.
  • Food industry.
  • Tourist products and activities associated with the gastronomy as a tourist resource.
  • Consulting.
  • Training, research and innovation in public and private R&D centers.

From a vertical perspective, different degrees of responsibility are considered to be developed in these subsectors. This degree trains, by consolidating the necessary competence bases, for different management levels of companies, management of operations and project management, as well as the intermediate tasks associated with these positions. Skills related to research, innovation and development complement the output of the qualifications profile:

  • Director of culinary and gastronomic production.
  • Manager of operations and processes of food production.
  • Director of development of new food products.
  • Executive Director of cuisine.
  • Director of restoration.
  • Culinary Director in the food industry.
  • Culinary gastronomic advisor.
  • Director of culinary innovation.
  • Responsible for quality and food safety in catering.
  • Responsible for research projects.
  • Commercial catering kitchen chef.
  • Chef de cuisine of collective catering.
  • Director of F & B.
  • Director of projects of culinary facilities.
  • Director of culinary events and activities.
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