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Secrets of the Caterer

Catering is a business that has become very popular, especially for those who love to cook and plan parties. From weddings, to showers, to business parties, catering is a home-based business that gives the caterer an exciting and creative career.

In this introductory course, you will learn how to put your cooking and party planning skills to work. Learn the fundamentals of the catering business, how to cook for large crowds, organize your kitchen, manage your time, and work with clients. The course focuses on cooking skills every caterer needs, with an introduction to the business side of catering. You'll also receive many unique and tested recipes that you can use to jump-start your business. Build your catering skills and begin a new and exciting career today.

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Starting April 17 | May 15

Secrets of the Caterer


Details + Objectives

Course Code: bac

What You Will Learn
  • Learn how to put your cooking and party planning skills to work for you
  • Learn the fundamentals of the catering business
  • Understand how to cook, for large crowds, organize your kitchen, manage your time, and work with clients
  • Get an introduction to the business side of catering
How the course is taught
  • Instructor-led course
  • 6 weeks in duration
  • Courses begin each month
  • 2 lessons released each week
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Receive unique and tested recipes that you can use to jump-start your business
  • Build your catering skills and begin a new and exciting career today


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Week 1

Find out what the catering business is really like, look into the ups and downs of having a home-based business, and explore your personal skill set. Then, learn what quality ingredients are and how to choose them. You’ll also learn how to build your personal pantry so you always have the right tools on hand for any kind of catering activity. And, you’ll get several exciting and delicious recipes.

Week 2

In this lesson, you'll discover techniques for making any dish visually attractive with tips on arranging and presenting food as well as effective garnishes. Then, you'll learn how to pair appetizers and hors d' oeuvres with entrées. You’ll also get several tried-and-true appetizers and hors d' oeuvres recipes.

Week 3

Learn the secrets caterers use to prepare delicious main courses. Then, explore different kinds of desserts and how to choose the right one for your event.

Week 4

In this lesson, you'll learn all about teas, coffees, and punches. You'll get delicious recipes you can try and you'll see how to garnish drinks for that extra special touch. Then, you'll learn how to choose the best serving dishes and flatware for any occasion keeping things practical but still making everything look beautiful.

Week 5

Condiments and sides are a critical part of a great meal and with the skills you gain in this lesson, you'll be able to provide condiments and sides without any fuss. Then, you'll learn to create the perfect menu for the perfect event. You'll even find a number of sample menus and recipes you can use for your events.

Week 6

Cover managing the business of catering. You'll learn how to price menus, figure profit, track your income and expenses, create contracts, and arrive at a healthy bottom line. And finally, you'll see how to work with your client, how to help your client choose the right food, and how to get a signed contract and down payment. You'll also discover how to organize your time, plan the event, and deliver your first job with great success.

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Instructors & Support

Dawn Simmons

Dawn Simmons is a private caterer who has provided a number of catering services for individuals and businesses. Before starting her own home-based catering business, Dawn worked for various restaurants and worked as a caterer for a major hotel chain. Dawn is skilled at presenting great food with flair, and eagerly shares the tricks of her trade with her students. Take her course, and you too will know how to create food that looks as good as it tastes.




There are no prerequisites for this course.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.


  • Food preparation laws and licensing vary from state-to-state. It is important to always check your local and state government for licensing information and restrictions.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


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When can I get started?

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.

How does it work?

Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

How long do I have to complete each lesson?

The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

What if I need an extension?

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

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