Course Syllabus

Course Title: AMERICAN REGIONAL CUISINE Session/Year: Winter 2011
Course Number: CL141
Instructor Name: Chef Jefe Birkner
Email Address:

Course Description:

·         Students will learn the history and styles of cooking in the American regions.

·         Emphasis will be on the seasonality of food indigenous to each region.

·         Students will observe and exercise sound cooking principals and practice solid cooking methodologies.

Course Length: 11 weeks / 22 days (Winter 2011 will miss one day, due to MLK Day)
Contact Hours: 110 hours
Credit Value: 6

*Course Competencies:

At the conclusion of this course the student should be able to...

1. Prepare a variety of various American cuisine dishes, which employ basic culinary principles, concepts and quality standards
2. Demonstrate and practice fish butchering
3. Construct and maintain applicable time-lines
4. Define and discuss the unique similarities and differences in American cuisine
5. Describe foods, preparation methods and traditional dishes associated with the different American regional cuisine
6. From various sources, research and explain the influences that define regional cuisines of particular areas of the United States.

Course Prerequisites:CL112 Fundamentals of Classical Techniques

Textbooks: Nenes, M. F. (2007). American Regional Cuisine. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.

Uniform Policy:Students will be required to be in full Culinary Course Home – (see Uniform Policy)

It is AIS's policy not to discriminate on the basis of disability in its educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for adjustments or other accommodations in this class, contact the Disability Services Department at 206-448-0900 Ext 2308."

Attendance Policy:

All students are graded on their participation (not attendance), if you are not in class you lose an opportunity to earn participation credit.  Part of what I believe that students are in school for is to prepare them for a professional career in the marketplace. The marketplace of customers and critics is very unforgiving of absence. You are in school to learn a skill, if you don’t show up, in school or at work then your skill will not earn you points, or a living. If you have something else “more important” in your life, I will forgive and excuse you, but you will not have the opportunity to earn the day's points that your classmates will have.

Late Work will receive a 10% deduction for each week late. After 2 weeks, credit will not be rewarded for the work.

NO WORK will be accepted after the last day of the class.

Occasionally, the instructor may offer extra credit work. Students are only awarded points for extra credit assignments if all other coursework up to that point has been turned in, and attendance is at least 70%

1.       Put the course number of your class (example BP101, or CL255)  in the subject line of every e-mail you send me. If you do not do this, the chance of me seeing your e-mail in a timely manner is dramatically reduced.

2.       EVERYTHING that you expect me to read, grade, respond to, or give you credit for MUST have your name on it. This includes: all e-mails, quizzes, exams, projects and homework. In the past year I have received final exams with no name, e-mails from “scrambled” addresses that were not signed, and I had no way to respond to the students, or give them credit for their work. Signing e-mail is also polite, and a good habit to get into. If you don’t sign your work, you should not expect to get credit for it.

Instructor availability outside of class:

Office Hours, 30 minutes before and after each class session, I will be available for students.  If you need to contact me outside of this time please use email. Please be proactive when it comes to questions or class related problems. Contact me in class and we’ll find a time and location to talk.

 Do not hesitate to ask any questions – something you don’t think you understand, something that confuses you, etc. – take care of your questions immediately.


Students are expected to meet academic standards of honesty in all aspects of their work at The Art Institute of Seattle. All work submitted, including papers and projects, written and oral examinations, and oral presentations and reports, must be free of plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the creations, ideas, or words of someone else without formally acknowledging the author or source through appropriate use of quotation marks, references, and citations.

 Examples of plagiarism include using another person’s ideas as your own; copying words from a book or magazine without using quotes and citation; paraphrasing another person’s work without citation; or presenting designs, art or digital files created by someone else as your own. Any student who is uncertain whether his or her use of the work of another will constitute plagiarism should consult the course instructor before submitting the course work involved. Citation standards and guidelines are available from you instructors and The Art Institute Library.

 The Art Institute of Seattle Policy on Plagiarism- It is the policy of The Art Institute of Seattle that students who copy or otherwise plagiarize the assignments, examinations, artwork, media or projects of other individuals are subject to disciplinary action, including failure of the course in which the plagiarized work was submitted or possible termination from The Art Institute of Seattle.

“The enterprise you and I are engaged in here is underwritten by the assumption of originality and the possibility and desirability of the advancement of thought these assumptions and the outcomes they look forward to — new insights, solutions to problems — will be undermined if students take the easy way out and just copy something someone else has already done.”

STANLEY FISH The Ontology of Plagiarism: Part Two ( Each student is expected to do ALL of their own work.  Students who earn 90% marks on everything that they turn in, but who only submit 70% of the assigned work should expect lower grades that a student who earns 75% grades, but turns everything in. 

Technology, needs and acceptable use;

You will need access to a computer, internet, and word processing program. most assignments for this course will be turned in online.

Students are encouraged to use laptops, iPhones/iPads, and other internet connected devices during class but NOT during exams. For exams, you are likely to want to take advantage of a small, inexpensive pocket calculator, none of the math will be more complex than addition/subtraction/multiplication/division of whole numbers, decimals and percentages. You will not need anything fancy like logarithms or exponents.

Please do not use headphones/earphones/earbuds or other personal audio playback devices during class time or exams. I will subtract points from your score even if I don’t say anything to you directly.

For production classes, it is suggested that each team have a digital scale able to handle up to 5 pounds.

 For access to electronic documents for this course from the Internet:  username and password are AIS followed by student id number (example: AIS123456)

Your required textbook for this course is delivered via electronic format.  You do not need to purchase a hardcopy textbook.  You will be able to access your eBook via eCompanion ( beginning no later than the first day of class.  Once you have accessed your eBook via eCompanion, you can then also choose to download the eBook to a personal computer using the Digital Bookshelf software (  Please refer to the Ai Digital Bookshelf Student User Guide, available in eCompanion, for specific instructions.

To start using your eBook, enter the eCompanion site for this class.  Click on the “Digital Textbook” link on the left-side navigation bar.  Then, click on the link for the book.

For support using the Digital Bookshelf, contact Campus Support at 1-866-642-2771 or  This support group is available Monday thru Saturday, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM EST.

GRADES will be posted regularly on the  website. You can review a specific assignment, but before you think that an item has not been graded, please check “Gradebook view; show all”. If you have questions about your grade, or wish to request a grade be changed, the request must be made within 2 weeks of the grade being posted.  Please do not come to me after final grades were posted and request a change to an assignment or something from week 3 or 4 (etc…).


In most AIS classes, including this one, you will be required to turn in a notebook. The goal is to create a learning tool and reference that will serve the student even beyond the scope of this course.  The notebook will be reviewed and graded at the end of the quarter and is included in the measurement for the course. Notebook may be a 3-ring binder with printed paper or turned in electronically. The notebook will be worth 20 points, or 20% of the course grade. Students may earn up to 5 bonus points by turning the notebook in as an electronic document in place of paper in a binder.

For all notebooks the first 3 qualities that I will evaluate are:

Is it neatly & cleanly presented?

Is it organized in a thoughtful and meaningful manner?

Does it include all required elements of the assignment?

Guidelines for hardcopy notebooks;

                Notebook should be bound in a clean binder, labeled on the front and spine with student name, quarter and year, course name, instructor name.

Should be well organized, and include:

·         Table of Contents

·         Syllabus

·         TYPED lecture notes. Yes, I expect you to review your handwritten class notes and type them.

·         Completed homework assignments (except major class projects)

·         Any returned exams or quizzes

·         Handouts that are distributed in class

·         Consistently formatted, each recipe that we produced

·         Personal/team critique of each recipe

·         Chef’s critique of each recipe

·         Very specific skills or experiences that you encountered with each recipe, or how it could be improved next time

This can include new techniques, flavors, or different ways of doing things. If you do not articulate what you have learned, you have not completed this assignment!

·         You are encouraged to use photographs in your notebook, if you didn’t take the picture, you must cite the source of the image (classmate, website, etc…)

Guidelines for electronic notebooks;

                In order to earn an extra 5 points on your notebook for turning it in in digital format;

It must be readable on a standard PC computer. You may work on a Mac, but must deliver the final product in a format that can be read on a PC. Acceptable formats include (but are not limited to);

                Word doc or docx


                Powerpoint ppt or pptx

                As a web-page  ( Try for a FREE, easy to use website maker)

I do NOT want you to simply dump a bunch of files, into a directory, and expect me to open each one and review each independently.

A complete digital notebook should be well organized, and include;

·         Student name, quarter and year, course name, instructor name.

·         Table of Contents or some type of index

·         Syllabus

·         Lecture notes

·         Completed homework assignments (except major class projects)

·         Digital copies of handouts that are distributed in class (you’ll find them on e-companion)

·         Consistently formatted, each recipe that we produced

·         Personal/team critique of each recipe

·         Chef’s critique of each recipe

·         Very specific skills or experiences that you learned from each recipe, or how it could be improved next time

                                This can include new techniques, flavors, or different ways of doing things. If you do not articulate what you have learned, you have not completed this assignment!

·         You are encouraged to use photographs in your notebook, if you didn’t take the picture, you must cite the source of the image (classmate, website, etc…)

Research Assignment:

Each specific topic will address one of the regions identified in American Regional Cuisine

Paper one will be on the history of a chef or restaurant while the second will be on a contemporary issue in regional American cuisine.

The report must be typed, double spaced, 12 point font, at least 800 words long, with a separate cover page and works cited page,.

Reports will be graded on how well they fulfill the assignment, as well as how well they are presented (form & function). I suggest that you have another student or tutor proofread your work or submit it through

The first paper  is due on the second day of week  three {1/25/11} 

Select a region that we are covering this quarter;                      

New England
                Mid Atlantic
                The South
                Central Plains
                Southwestern/Rocky Mountains
Pacific Northwest
From the region of your choice, research a Chef or Restaurant that is representative of that region.

Discuss the professional development (history) of the chef, or the origins of the restaurant.

Discuss the ways in which the chef or restaurant embraced the techniques, ingredients and skills of the region and translated that into a successful business or career.

Discuss at least 2 signature dishes and how they represent the region being researched

Discuss the ways in which your subject has raised awareness of their regional cuisine OUTSIDE of their native region.

                Examples (use your OWN, you will lose 50% if you copy my examples)

                                Cajun/Creole; Chef Emeril Lagasse

                                Mid Atlantic; Tavern on the Green Restaurant

 The second paper will be due on the second day of the sixth {2/15/11} week  

Each student is required to submit a proposed topic before 2/4/11 (12:01 a.m.) for the instructor to review. Topics will be reviewed over the weekend, and any topics that are not acceptable will be returned to the student with comments before class on 2/7/10. If you have not gotten a rejection letter, your topic is acceptable. Any topics submitted late, instructor may take up to 4 days to accept or reject the topic.

For paper 2 students are required to find a current issue in American Regional Cuisine that is discussed in one of the following Blogs, use the information from the blog post, and additional research on the topic.

Clearly outline the issue or topic in your own words

Articulate how the subject is relevant to you as a professional

Relate the subject to our class

Explain why the issue or topic is important or relevant to our industry today

For BOTH papers. you must use at least 3 different sources, at least 1 must be available in print (not just online).

How to properly cite sources;

From the The Chicago Manual of Style


Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006. Article in a newspaper or popular magazine; Daniel Mendelsohn, “But Enough about Me,” New Yorker, January 25, 2010 Website; Because such content is subject to change, include an access date or, if available, a date that the site was last modified. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts,” McDonald’s Corporation, accessed July 19, 2008, Suggested Weekly Outline:

Week 1 Lecture:               Class Outline and Introduction, Indigenous Foods in America

                Lab:                        Cuisine of New England, Knife Skill Competency

Week 2 Lecture:               Cuisine of the Mid-Atlantic States

                Lab:                        Cuisine of the Mid-Atlantic States

                Monday off for MLK day

Week 3 Lecture:               Cuisine of the South

                Lab:                        Cuisine of the  South

                Homework:        Quiz on the Mid-Atlantic States (finish by 1/24)

                FIRST REPORT DUE

Week 4 Lecture:               Floribbean Cuisine

                Lab:                        Floribbean Cuisine

                Homework:        Quiz on the Deep South (finish by 1/31)                              

Week 5 Lecture:               Cajun and Creole Cuisine


                Lab:                        Cajun and Creole Cuisine

Week 6 Lecture:               The Cuisine of the Central Plains

                Lab:                        The Cuisine of the Central Plains

                Homework:        Quiz on Cajun and Creole (finish by 2/14)

                SECOND REPORT DUE   

Week 7 Lecture:               Texas and Tex-Mex Cuisine

                Lab:        Texas and Tex-Mex Cuisine

                Homework:        Quiz Cuisine of the Central Plains  (finish by 2/21)          

Week 8 Lecture:               Cuisines of the Southwest/ Rocky Mtn.

                Lab:        Cuisines of the Southwest/ Rocky Mtn.

                Homework:        Quiz on Texas and Tex-Mex Cuisine and the Southwest                (finish by 2/28)

Week 9 Lecture:               Cuisines of the California

                Lab:        Cuisines of the California

                                Journal/notebook due 

Week 10              Lecture: Chef's Table Final Practical Exam

                Lab:        Preparation for Chef's Table Competency

                                Cuisine of the Northwest

                                Practical Exam (menu TBD)        

Week 11              Written Final Exam


Tutoring Services:

There are tutors available, free of charge to AIS students.  Go to to schedule a tutor, or ask instructor for more information.  It is Room 614SC, Andrée B. Carter (206) 239-2325
Disability Policy Statement:

"It is AIS's policy not to discriminate on the basis of disability in its educational programs.  If you have a disability-related need for adjustments or other accommodations in this class, contact the Disability Services Department at 206-448-0900 Ext 2308."

Different people learn in different ways, and have different types of natural intelligence.  There are people with linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, and more. There are people who learn best by writing, others by reading, some by hearing, and many by doing. My intent is to engage a variety of styles and senses, and to recognize that one method may not work best for you, but that even methods which are especially challenging for individuals will also reinforce the skills and knowledge that they acquire through more comfortable or familiar methods.


93 and above


73 and above


90 and above


70 and above


87 and above


67 and above


83 and above


63 and above


80 and above


Below  63


77 and above

Notebook           20

Papers                  10

mid term             10

written final      20

Practical Final    20

participation/teamwork               10

quizzes                 10