Grow

Core Knowledge Competencies

After much effort and hard work the Research Chefs Association Education Committee released the revised Culinology® core knowledge competencies based on the results from a recent RCA member survey. The core competencies were identified by the extensive member survey and are to be instrumental in the field of Culinology®.

These competencies are ranked in order of importance by the members who participated in the survey, with the top result garnering the highest rank. These competencies are to be a living, working document as the field of Culinology® evolves, and detail what is considered to be core knowledge for those practicing Culinology®.  

Culinology® Core Competencies

  • Knowledge of Principles of Cooking (e.g., heat transferCore Competency, cooking methods, breading/batters)
  • Knowledge of Formula and Recipe Development (ratios; e.g., percent vs. per batch, yield)
  • Knowledge of Food Safety Practices and HACCP
  • Knowledge of Food Sanitation (including prevention of foodborne illnesses, etc.)
  • Knowledge of Culinary Fundamentals and Production Systems
  • Knowledge of Culinary Uses and Applications of Products
  • Knowledge of Flavor Building (e.g., top, mid and base notes; fond, stock, cooking method, seasoning)
  • Knowledge of Allergens and Food Intolerances
  • Ability to "Convert" from Lab to Plant (e.g., affects of scale up on finished product)
  • Knowledge of the Steps of the Product Development Process (e.g., ideation through production startup)
  • Knowledge of Weigh and Measurement Conversions
  • Knowledge of Functional Ingredients (e.g., acidulants, flow agents, preservatives, enzymes)
  • Knowledge of Proteins (e.g., meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, plant proteins)
  • Knowledge of Current and Projected Food Trends
  • Knowledge of Carbohydrates (including vegetables, fruits, cereals, grains)
  • Knowledge of Traditional Stocks and Sauces
  • Knowledge of Heat Exchange/Heat Transfer (e.g., how it works/affect on the product)
  • Knowledge of General Nutrition (e.g., essential nutrients, USDA guidelines, micro and macro nutrients)
  • Knowledge of Food Service Commercial Kitchen Equipment and Tools
  • Knowledge of Product Shelf Life (e.g., product shelf life testing, preservation methods, packaging technologies, effects of temperature)
  • Knowledge of Fats and Oils (e.g., processing, quality, functionality, nutrition)
  • Knowledge of the Application of Nutrition Knowledge (e.g., labels, recipes, healthy eating recommendations)
  • Knowledge of Food chemistry and Microbiology (e.g., process lethality validation, contaminants - biological)
  • Knowledge of Large-Scale Production (e.g., technologies affecting products)
  • Knowledge of Appropriate Documentation (e.g., lab book, specs, process documentation)
  • Knowledge of Ingredient Procurement (i.e., how choices affect purchasing, for example seasonality, cost, developing product specifications)
  • Knowledge of Product Presentation (i.e., planning and physical details)
  • Knowledge of Commercial Flavorings (e.g., process flavors, compound flavors, HVPs, yeast extracts)
  • Knowledge of New Technologies
  • Knowledge of Quality Issues and Troubleshooting (e.g., mold/yeast/microbial issues, effects of abuse)
  • Knowledge of Dairy Products
  • Knowledge of Competitive Products and Competitive Product Analysis
  • Knowledge of Current Nutrition Trends
  • Knowledge of Consumer and Sensory Testing
  • Knowledge of Government Food Regulations (e.g., FDA, USDA, NLEA, CFR, appropriate local/international regulations)
  • Knowledge of Regional and World Cuisines (including preparation, spicing and presentation)
  • Knowledge of Quality Assurance Systems (e.g., process control, lot traceability and recall, food testing: physical, chemical, microbiological, organoleptic)
  • Knowledge of Food Service/Commercial Kitchen Operations (i.e., front and back of the house, various types of establishments)
  • Knowledge of Research, Methodologies and Experimental Design
  • Knowledge of Equipment and Selection, as part of product/process development
  • Knowledge of Follow-Through (i.e., production and start-up, internal communication, customer support)
  • Knowledge of Packaging (e.g., barrier properties, how packaging affects the product)
  • Knowledge of Baking and Pastry
  • Knowledge of Strategic Research Planning (e.g., understanding customer needs and how to meet them, long-term product and menu planning, measuring progress)
  • Knowledge of Multicultural Product Requirements (e.g., Kosher, Halal)
  • Knowledge of Menu Engineering
  • Knowledge of Occupational Safety and Health Rules and Regulations (e.g., OSHA)
  • Knowledge of Beverages
  • Knowledge of Finance (e.g., current economic climate, cost accounting, including cost evaluation of products, ROI and COGs)
  • Knowledge of Candies and Confectionaries
  • Knowledge of Marketing
  • Knowledge of Purchasing (e.g., finance management, vendor management)
  • Knowledge of Ship and Distribution Testing
  • Knowledge of Charcuterie
  • Knowledge of Sales