Culinary Arts: Practical Learning Experiences

What sets PCC apart from other Culinary Arts degrees?

A Culinary Arts degree from PCC comes with built-in opportunities to practice the skills you are learning in a professional environment. Our students graduate with a strong work ethic that is developed through hundreds of hours of practical, hands-on learning.

The Kitchens at PCC

PCC has the third largest event space in Pueblo, so the kitchen is among the busiest in Southern Colorado. As part of our ACF Accreditation, outside parties must inspect every corner to ensure that it meets the vigorous national benchmark of the American Culinary Federation. The kitchens at PCC were last inspected in 2017 and were found to be 100% compliant with ACF requirements and standards.

Learning Labs

Our unique Learning Labs program will give students a total of 240 hours of work experience in one of the busiest kitchens in Pueblo.

PCC’s Hospitality & Culinary Arts program partners with PCC’s Conference & Dining Services to create Learning Labs. A Learning Lab is an opportunity for a student to perform a task or several tasks for Conference and/or Dining Services, in alignment with Learning Outcomes of specific classes. Students performing these specified tasks will achieve contact hours required by the class.

People like to think the creative process is romantic. The artist drifts to sleep at night, to be awakened by the subliminal echoes of his or her next brilliant idea. The truth, for me at least, is that creativity is primarily the result of hard work and study.

–Grant Achatz


In addition to Learning Labs, students are required to complete a 180-hour internship at the end of the program. Internships can be paid, or unpaid, and completed at one or more sights. The Culinary Arts faculty carefully match students to internship sites based on skill level, specific interests, and particular needs of both student and internship site.

Internships can take place in Pueblo or beyond. PCC has several community partners who offer internships. Many students have the opportunity to travel to Denver, Colorado mountain resorts, Disney, or even Alaska and France. 

Are you an employer looking for culinary interns? Contact Mo Montgomery for more information.

Other Practical Experiences:

GPA Dining Room

The Culinary Arts Program at Pueblo Community College has been teaching our students to prepare and serve quality food since 1984. The GPA Dining Room is located on the bottom floor of the Student Center next to the bookstore.  The purpose of this dining room is to give Culinary Arts students the “real world” experience of preparing high quality food and providing excellent customer service to guests, in a learning atmosphere.

Grand Buffet

Every Fall and Spring semester, students from several classes complete their capstone assignment with the Grand Buffet. Tickets can be purchased through the GPA Dining room.

Anheuser-Busch Beer Pairing Dinner

Big Bear Wine & Liquor, Inc. partners with Anheuser Busch each semester to host a beer dinner. The meal ha s6 or more course, each expertly paired with a craft beer. Students work with Anheuser-Busch corporate chef Sam Neimann to prepare and serve the meal, while brew masters introduce each course and pairing. Tickets may be purchased through the GPA Dining Room.

Masons Dinners

Students enrolled in CUA 233: Advanced Line Prep and Cookery participate in several private dinners for our local Masons chapters each semester. Each student has the opportunity to write and develop the menu, purchase items, write recipes and run the dinner service.

This program is one of a kind to truly give students the opportunity to manage a real dinner service with all the challenges faced by an executive chef.

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