The Program

Napa Valley Cooking School’s Advanced Professional Culinary Program begins on our St. Helena campus every August and January. The program’s Global Externship component begins immediately after completion of curriculum in St. Helena and is completed in time for students to graduate in March (August start) and September (January start).

This fast-paced six-month intensive program follows a curriculum designed to build on itself. Culinary techniques learned in each course are repeated throughout the program to enforce the mastery required to be a successful professional fine-dining chef.

Led by Executive Chef Elena Sirignano, students also have the opportunity to receive regular instruction from noted experienced guest faculty who are experts in their fields.

Hands-on topics include:

“NVCS was the perfect place to dive deeper into my love of food. Napa Valley offers a hands-on experience you’d have a hard time finding elsewhere.

Sarah F. , Past Student

Quote from an alumni here…

Jane Doe, Alumni

Quote from someone else here

Jane Smith, Instructor
  • Advanced Knife Skills
  • Advanced Plating Design & Execution
  • Wine Pairing & Appreciation
  • Food & Beverage Costing
  • Catering & Special Event Planning
  • Self-Care & Career Planning
  • Culinary Gardening & Organic Farming Practices

  • Butchery & Charcuterie
  • Advanced Baking & Pastry
  • Molecular Gastronomy
  • American Regional Cuisines
  • World Cuisines: French, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Filipino, Northern European, Eastern Mediterranean, North African, Mexican, South American, & Central American


To support the development of entrepreneurial skills, students create and host a retail Marketplace in conjunction with seasonal special events. Marketplaces are designed to showcase the students’ work as artisan culinarians, connect them with the public in a market setting, and celebrate the unique culinary history and culture of the Napa Valley and the 8,000+ volume collection of cookbooks housed on our campus.


  • Prepare prospective chefs and culinarians for a career in fine dining establishments
  • Gain real-world experience and practice in both catering and fine dining restaurant settings
  • Develop a well-informed sense of culinary creativity


  • Operate a professional kitchen observing Health Department regulations
  • Perform calculations using basic culinary math
  • Production and application of sweet and savory pate a choux
  • Identification, care for, and handling of salad greens
  • Adapt small recipes and cooking methods to unfamiliar equipment and large-scale service
  • Plan and cost multiple course menus
  • Understanding of the origins and history of wine grapes and winemaking
  • Understanding of culture and historical context of world cuisines
  • Gain knowledge and observe sustainable farming practices.
  • Prepare dough by hand and machine using multiple formulas and methods
  • Demonstrate effective practices for menu planning, inventory, purchasing and receiving
  • Advanced technique of translating classic flavors into modern interpretations
  • Planning, timing and executing a cooking demonstration
  • Draw and execute final plate presentations
  • Increased knowledge of career options in the culinary arts and how to successfully pursue them
Alumni Stat Example
Another Alumni Stat Example
Another Stat Goes here


The Napa Valley Cooking School culinary program is proud to be a part of Napa Valley College. In order to apply for admission to our program, please head to their website here, and apply for enrollment to the Culinary Arts Program. Someone will be in touch with you shortly to review. As a reminder, our classes tend to fill up quickly, and the sooner you enroll for a new semester, the more likely you will be to reserve your spot.