About The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory

The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory offers students in grades 9 through 12 advanced training in both culinary arts and hospitality. The program is designed to embrace, nurture, and expand students' passion for food, creativity, and excellence. Through a challenging, hands-on curriculum, based on leading industry standards and collegiate culinary programs, students are introduced to basic kitchen skills, which they maintain and expand upon throughout their tenure in the program.

Students are also exposed to the importance of sanitation standards, world cuisines, baking, pastry, garde manger, food science, nutrition, food history as well as high volume food production and internship opportunities in myriad positions throughout the hospitality industry.

Student Experience

The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory partners with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart® program and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program to create an optimal four-year program that prepares students for a successful entry into the industry.

All Culinary Arts & Hospitality students begin their training by learning the importance of safety and sanitation. Throughout their first year in the program, they receive hands-on experience by acquiring the basic skill set necessary in the kitchen. During their second year, students revisit those skills and continue to build their foundation with a thorough study and exploration of world cuisine. In their third year of the program, they expand and hone their culinary skills by delving into baking and pastry, garde manger, and nutrition science. Fourth-year students study the history of food and have the choice to participate in either high volume production, where students assist with the everyday operations of the OCSA Cafeteria and our catering services, or an industry internship.

  • "If Culinary Arts is your passion, this is the place to start. It’s a 100% hands-on program developed and taught by professional chefs who help you learn and succeed.”
    Danby Su – Class of 2014
  • “This conservatory provides many catering opportunities, great friendships with other passionate culinary minds, an excellent education in and out of the kitchen, as well as many job opportunities.”
    Peyton Ross – Class of 2016
  • “I met industry professionals, tested my skills in culinary competitions, and received valuable certifications, which gave me an advantage and a head start in my career.”
    Austin January – Class of 2016

Preparing Students for the Future

The Mekjian Family Culinary Arts & Hospitality Conservatory provides students with real-world experience and the knowledge they need to embark on a career in the hospitality industry or to enter a college/university level program in either culinary arts, hospitality, or both. Johnson & Wales University recognizes 9 college credits for eligible students, and the Culinary Institute of America recognizes three college credits for eligible students. Over the course of the four-year program, Culinary Arts & Hospitality students develop an understanding and appreciation for the importance of a strong work ethic. Additionally, they improve their critical thinking and collaboration abilities, while establishing a solid foundation in kitchen safety, sanitation, organization, and cost control. They also gain the ability to understand the driving influences behind cuisines from around the world. 

Click here for more information on our scope and sequence and curriculum.