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A community college sponsored by Niagara County

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Culinary Skills, Certificate


Classes are taught in state-of-the-art kitchen facilities at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. The certificate program will combine both classroom learning as well as laboratories.

In laboratory courses, lessons will be taught using rudimentary food preparation methods which will give students the ability to produce food in every situation possible from ‘scratch’ cooking to using more modern sophisticated food preparation ingredients.

The students gain valuable industry experience by spending time in courses directly connected with our NFCI’s restaurant “Savor.” The students will rotate through the restaurant experiencing all of the aspects of running a hospitality-driven business. In addition, the students will get to experience the main campus of SUNY Niagara when they take a business management or accounting course to complete the certificate program.

Program Goals and Objectives
  • Train students for immediate entry-level employment within the food service industry.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of kitchen etiquette and professionalism.
  • Apply proper sanitation and safety techniques while demonstrating proper knife handling and care for equipment.
  • Apply basic food preparation skills.
  • Apply basic baking preparation skills.

Additional Program Costs

Required Uniform & Required NFCI Kits:

  • Locker Rental:
  • NFCI / SUNY Niagara Parking:
    • At NFCI see Public Safety with the parking ramp ticket that was used to open the ramp gate when entering the NFCI ramp.  Public Safety can scan and validate that ticket for the semester.  There is no additional upfront cost for parking validation for students.  Parking is covered under student fees.
    • At SUNY Niagara see Public Safety for a student parking Hang Tag (SUNY Niagara).  There is no additional upfront cost for parking validation for students.  Parking is covered under student fees.

Uniform Policy

  • Hair
    • Students who have long hair must tie hair back/ up and place it under their skull cap, or wear a tight braid in back only.
    • Facial Hair must be kept trimmed & neatly groomed.

It will be to the discretion of the instructor if the student must wear a beard guard.

  • Piercings
    • Piercings other than single studded earing placed in the ears are not permitted and must not be visible while in uniform / lab.  No facial piercings of any kind.
    • Facial piercings that can be covered by a face mask may be worn as long as the student wears an appropriate face covering at all times.
  • Permitted Jewelry
    • Wedding Band……..Watch…….Single Studded Earrings (in Ears only)
  • Fingernails
    • Fingernails should not exceed 1/8th of an inch past the fingertip and should be free of nail polish and or nail art etc….

Student Ratio/Faculty Ratio

  • 30 to 1 ratio for sole lecture-based classes
  • 16 to 1 ratio for standard Culinary / Pastry Lab Classes
  • 10 to 1 ratio for Savor Restaurant Based Culinary Lab Classes
  • 6 to 1 Ratio for Savor Dining Room Service Lab Classes
  • 10 to 1 Ratio for La Patisserie Based Pastry Lab Class
  • 8 to 1 Ratio for Savor Pastry Based Lab Class

Acceptance Policy/Open Enrollment

Applying to The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute / SUNY Niagara is the first step toward achieving the goal of a high-quality education. SUNY Niagara has an “open enrollment” admission policy to admit applicants who have graduated from an accredited high school or have a high school equivalency diploma. Students who have not completed high school will meet with an admissions advisor to discuss completing the high school equivalency at SUNY Niagara as well as other options.


Information available at –

Scholarships unique to the programs’ students are as follows:

  • ACF of Greater Buffalo Scholarship – $750.00 Spring Semester
    • Available to Baking & Pastry and Culinary Arts Students who are members of the American Culinary Federation
  • ACF Monte Dolce Memorial Scholarship $750.00 Fall Semester
    • Available to Baking & Pastry and Culinary Arts Students who are members of the American Culinary Federation
  • ACF William Metzgar Memorial Scholarship $500.00 Fall Semester
    • Available to Baking & Pastry and Culinary Arts Students who are members of the American Culinary Federation

The Statler Foundation Scholarship is available for those students in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Hospitality Operations or Baking & Pastry Arts who are enrolled full-time at SUNY Niagara. Funds for this scholarship are generously made available from the Statler Foundation and are based upon availability each semester. SUNY Niagara reserves the right to increase/decrease the actual dollar amount granted based upon the available funds from the Statler Foundation. The maximum award for one academic year is $2,000 per student.

Nicholas A. DiCamillo Memorial Scholarship bestowed by the DiCamillo Bakery in the amount of $250 per semester; $500 total to students enrolled in the Culinary Arts or Pastry and Baking Arts curriculum attending either full or part-time. Scholarship award is based on financial need and academic performance. Applicants must have and maintain a 2.5 GPA.

The SUNY Niagara Culinary Skills Scholarship was established in 1998 to financially assist students pursuing a degree in the Food Service/Professional Chef curriculum at SUNY Niagara. Today, it has been made available for students pursuing a degree or certificate in Culinary Skills, Hospitality, Restaurant Management, Culinary Arts or Baking & Pastry Arts. The award is $100.  Applicants must have and maintain a 2.5 GPA.

NYS Federation of Home Bureau (Donna Belling) Scholarship is available to Baking & Pastry Arts or Culinary Arts students.  The local chapter of this statewide organization raises scholarship money through memorials and anniversary gifts to the group. The award is$500.  An applicant must be enrolled full time in either Baking & Pastry Arts or the Culinary Arts curriculum for at least 1 year (either at SUNY Niagara or transferred from elsewhere carrying a minimum of 9 credits in addition to work/study or internship).  Scholarship award is based on academic achievement.  Applicants must have and maintain a 2.85 GPA and must be a Niagara County resident.

Red Coach Inn Scholarship is sponsored by Thomas Reese who owns the Red Coach Inn in Niagara Falls, NY. He has established the Red Coach Inn Scholarship to help students achieve their goals in pursuing a degree in Culinary Curriculums.  The scholarship is available Fall and Spring semesters in the amount of $250 per semester; $500 total.  Applicants must have and maintain a 2.5 GPA and must be enrolled full time in the Culinary Arts program.

Information available at –

Alumni Spotlight

Arnita Blum ’19

“Starting school later in life can be challenging, but the faculty and staff made it easy to feel welcome. They really help you to succeed and reach your full potential. If you are looking for the best culinary school in Western New York, Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) is where you want to be. From the chefs knowledge of different cuisines to the gingerbread house project, you couldn’t ask for a better start to your culinary journey. Since graduation, I obtained employment with Delaware North at the New Era Field Stadium for the Buffalo Bills. I enjoy cooking and am thankful that I chose NFCI.”

Program Contact

Scott Steiner, CCE, AAC
Program Coordinator
Phone: 716-210-2558
Location: NFCI-157
Division Office: 716-614-6456

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