General Information

Professor Information

Instructor Profile Picture


Mark D'Alessandro


By Appointment via email; Zoom

Office Hours

Monday 9:00 - 10:00 AM Virtual


Course Description and Purpose

In this course, you will learn about the fundamentals of food production, food safety, and quality culinary management of food and nutrition services as used in a modern, institutional food service operation.  We emphasize restaurant quality food production, menu planning and execution.  Each week there will be online assignments followed by a culinary lab, where students work in teams, to prepare recipes consistent with the food service industry.  Course competencies include: proper use of kitchen tools and equipment, kitchen safety and sanitation, basic culinary techniques, recipe conversions, food cost and modification of recipes acceptable to diverse groups.  

Course Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Identify and utilize proper cooking tools and equipment
  • Demonstrate and evaluate safe and sanitary food preparation and storage techniques
  • Work effectively within the team using a variety of communication skills, integrity, and professionalism needed for entry into pre-professional practice
  • Develop and prioritize food preparation tasks to meet production deadlines
  • Efficiently produce a high-quality restaurant meal
  • Utilize technology to compute recipe yields, conversions and food costs
  • Apply kitchen management strategies that maximize profit and minimize waste
  • Effectively create, modify and evaluate recipes, menus and food products acceptable to diverse groups

Course Objectives- Connection to Program Learning Outcomes

As a required course in the Nutrition and Dietetics degree program, this course requires the student to successfully demonstrate mastery of a number of learning outcomes. As the course proceeds during the semester, students will be evaluated on their professionalism, critical thinking, and communication and information literacy. Students will receive assessments that demonstrate their skill levels in each of these areas. The following table summarizes how the curriculum learning outcomes for the program are related to the specific course objectives, and lastly how course objectives will be measured and taught.

Knowledge and Skills achievable by completion of this course meet the Knowledge for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists [KRDN] as defined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Dietetics and Nutrition (ACEND):  Refer to the Undergraduate DPD Handbook, Appendix 1, for details regarding core knowledge requirements for the profession.

Important Information

Technical Requirements and Skills

One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" webpage to find out more information on this subject.

Privacy Policy Statements for partners and vendors

Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

Accessibility and Accommodation

The Disability Resource Center collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and community members to create diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and sustainable. The DRC provides FIU students with disabilities the necessary support to successfully complete their education and participate in activities available to all students. If you have a diagnosed disability and plan to utilize academic accommodations, please contact the Center at 305-919-5345 or visit them at the Wolfe University Center 131.

For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

Web Accessibility Statements for partners and vendors

Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for additional information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

Academic Misconduct Statement

Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly to demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Academic Misconduct includes: Cheating – The unauthorized use of books, notes, aids, electronic sources; or assistance from another person with respect to examinations, course assignments, field service reports, class recitations; or the unauthorized possession of examination papers or course materials, whether originally authorized or not. Plagiarism – The use and appropriation of another’s work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the student’s own. Any student who fails to give credit for ideas, expressions or materials taken from another source, including internet sources, is responsible for plagiarism.

Any student caught introducing or using unauthorized material at the beginning of, or during, an exam; or attempting to communicate with another student during an exam, or using a cell phone during an exam, will automatically fail the exam. If this occurs a second time, the student will automatically fail the course.

Learn more about the academic integrity policies and procedures as well as student resources that can help you prepare for a successful semester.

Panthers Care & Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

If you are looking for help for yourself or a fellow classmate, Panthers Care encourages you to express any concerns you may come across as it relates to any personal behavior concerns or worries you have, for the classmate’s well-being or yours; you are encouraged to share your concerns with FIU’s Panthers Care website.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential help for anxiety, depression, stress, and other concerns that life brings. Professional counselors are available for same-day appointments. Don’t wait to call 305-348-2277 to set up a time to talk or visit the online self-help portal.

Course Prerequisites

This course has the following prerequisites: FOS 3021 or FOS 4041. Review the Course Catalog webpage for prerequisites information.

Textbook and Course Materials

On Cooking, 6th  edition e-text with MyCulinary Lab access
title : 

On Cooking, 6th  edition e-text with MyCulinary Lab access

authors : 

Sarah R. Labensky, Alan M. Hause, Priscilla A. Martel

publisher : 

Pearson; 6 edition

publish date : 

January 28, 2018

isbn 10 : 

Textbook ISBN-10: 0134441907 

isbn 13 : 

Textbook ISBN-13: 9780134872773

The course module and supporting documents may be found on Canvas.

Expectations of This Course

The following guidelines will create a comfortable and productive learning environment throughout the semester.

 Students are expected to:

  • Spend an adequate amount of time on the homework assignments, and complete and submit assignments as required in a timely and professional manner.
  • Actively engage and participate online discussion boards and in class culinary labs.
  • Enthusiastically help with clean up chores as needed.
  • Seek help when appropriate.

The instructor will:

  • Start and end class on time.
  • Reply to e-mails within 24 hours on weekdays or 48 hours on weekends and holidays.
  • Assign homework that adequately covers the material and meets the learning objectives of the course while adhering to the time expectations for a 6 week course.
  • Give exams that accurately reflect the material covered in class and assigned in homework.

Use of Mobile Phone During Class Policy 

Mobile phones are not allowed in the classroom or the lab. A student will receive two warnings, after the second warning, the student will lose all attendance/participation points for the day.

Eating and Drinking

No eating or drinking during class (especially during service).

Recording of Classroom Activities

Classroom activities may be recorded by a student for the personal, educational use of that student or for all students presently enrolled in the class only, and may not be further copied, distributed, published or otherwise in print, electronic or social media or used for any other purpose without the express written consent of the instructor.   All students are advised that classroom activities may be recorded for this purpose.

Student Responsibility

It is assumed that students have attained a level of maturity that motivates them to take responsibility for achieving the learning objectives of this course by using the learning tools provided. This course is designed to be completed successfully through the use of three learning assignments:

  • doing the homework assignments on a timely basis
  • doing the reading assignments on a timely basis
  • attending all classes, taking appropriate notes and participating in class. A student who does not use all three of the above tools appropriately and in a timely fashion runs the risk of falling behind and being unable to keep up with the rest of the class. More importantly, the student is wasting an opportunity to improve himself/herself

A. If, after doing the reading and homework assignments, a student does not understand a topic that has been explained in class, it is the student's responsibility to visit the instructor during office hours, or contact via Canvas inbox to seek additional instructional assistance, or to seek such assistance from classmates, or from any other source that is available.

B. It is impossible to cover all assigned reading materials in class. Therefore, it is of particular importance that a student request further explanation of any assigned material that the student does not understand, and that is not covered in class. Students are responsible, in the relevant classes, and on the relevant examinations, for the corresponding material in the reading and homework assignments regardless of whether it is, or is not, covered in class.

C. In the unfortunate event that a student is obliged to miss a class lab for circumstances beyond his/her control, the student is responsible for taking any exceptional steps necessary to learn the material discussed in that class. Such steps may include obtaining assistance from classmates and/or requesting assistance from the instructor during office hours, going to tutoring sessions, or from any other available source.

Late Withdrawal

There are no late withdrawals from class unless you are hospitalized or something along those lines.  There is a mid-semester deadline set by which time your decision must be made.  This semester it is July 15, 2019

Course Detail

Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via the Canvas Inbox. Check out the Canvas Conversations Tutorial or Canvas Guide to learn how to communicate with your instructor and peers using Announcements, Discussions, and the Inbox. I will respond to all correspondences within 24 hours on weekdays or 48 hours on weekends and holidays. Messages should be worded in a professional and formal manner.


In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

All assessments will auto-submit when (1) the timer runs out OR (2) the closing date/time is reached, whichever happens first. For example, if a quiz has a closing time of 5:00 pm but the student begins the exam at 4:55 pm, the student will only have 5 minutes to complete the quiz.

Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.


Students will be evaluated on their cognitive abilities as follows:

Course Requirements
Online Activities35%
Weekly Culinary Lab Work (Group)30%
Lab Attendance10%
Final Exam - Practical15%
Final Exam - Written10%

Grade Scale

LetterRange (%)LetterRange (%)
LetterRange (%)
A93 or aboveB84 - 86C70 - 76
A-90 - 92B-80 - 83D60- 69
B+87-89C+77 - 79F59 or less

Course Calendar

Weekly Schedule

Weekly schedule is subject to change at the professor's discretion.

Date & Module No.TopicsTextbook ChaptersAssignment
Aug 23
  • Course Introduction
  • Syllabus Videos
  • Basic Knife Skills
  • Read Chapters 1, 5&6 

Complete Cooking Diary 1 by Aug 29 11:59 PM

Mod#2 Aug 30
  • Culinary Math
  • Food Safety
  • Menus & Recipes
  • Read Chapters 2&4

Complete Pearson Quizzes by Sep 6, 11:59pm

Mod#3 Sep 7
  • Mis en place
  • Stocks & Sauces
  • Read Chapters 9&11 
Complete Pearson materials by Sep 12, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 2 by Sep 12, 11:59 PM
Mod#4 Sep 13
  • Principles of cooking
  • Read Chapter 10

Complete Pearson materials by Sep 19, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 3 by Sep 19, 11:59 PM

Mod#5 Sep 20
  • Soups
  • Read Chapter 12 

Complete Pearson materials by Sep 26, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 4 by Sep 26, 11:59 PM

Mod#6 Sep 27
  • Vegetable & starch cookery
  • Read Chapters 22-24

Complete Pearson materials by Oct 3, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 5 by Oct 3, 11:59 PM

Mod#7 Oct 4
  • Meat I

  • Read Chapters 13-15

Complete Pearson materials by Oct 10, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 6 by Oct 10, 11:59 PM
Mod#8 Oct 11
  • Meat II

  • Read Chapters 16-18

Complete Pearson materials by Oct 17, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 7 by Oct 17, 11:59 PM
Mod#9 Oct 18
  • Fish & shellfish I
  • Read Chapter 20

Complete Pearson materials by Oct 24, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 8 by Oct 24, 11:59 PM
Oct 25
  • Fish & shellfish II

  • Review Chapter 20

Complete Cooking Diary 9 by Oct 31, 11:59 PM
Mod#11 Nov 1
  • Eggs, breakfast & cheese

  • Read Chapters 8&21

Complete Pearson materials by Nov 7, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 10 by Nov 7, 11:59 PM
Nov 8
  • Salad & sandwich

  • Read Chapters 25&27

Complete Pearson materials by Nov 14, 11:59 PM

Complete Cooking Diary 10 by Nov 7, 11:59 PM


Assignment Descriptions

Cooking Diaries: Periodic journaling in this course is experience-learning based. That is, through the Cooking Journals, you will discuss how and what was learned via: content distribution, your assimilation and then practicing of individual recipes that you choose. In this, you will not be graded on the success/failure of your ability to replicate the recipe exactly as demonstrated or indicated in the book, but on your evaluation of the experience in doing so. As such, adding photographs (think of a selfie with you and the final dish; a minimum of three photos of the cooking process are required, not all of them selfies) are a necessary part of the process to evaluate your learning, as is a short, detailed analysis of the learning. The recipe chosen must be from the chapters read that week. Below are the guidelines for this assignment.

  1. Name of the recipe chosen from On Cooking and page number.
  2. A full analysis of the experience had while cooking the recipe selected.
  3. Photograph documentation of the recipe item made. The photographs must follow the guidelines above.  
  4. The following questions must be answered:
  • What would need to be altered if you would you replicate this recipe for 10 people?..for 100 people? Include recipes for both quantities with your submission.
  • What special equipment is needed to execute the recipe chosen? If you didn’t have it in your home kitchen, what exceptions did you make? Think about this critically when considering the answer to the first bullet. Also, reference Chapter 5 from the textbook for guidance.
  • What would you do differently if you made this recipe again?
  • What was the most challenging part of the recipe?
  • What mis en place needed to be completed prior to cooking?
  • What cooking techniques (from Chapter 10) were part of this recipe

MyPearsonLab Exercises: This resource will be used throughout the semester and contains a video repository, chapter slides, quizzes, and more. Not every module has assignments from MyPearsonLab, but most do.

Service Experience Reaction Paper: First, watch the Service Video. This training video shows one perspective for proper service in the foodservice industry. Watch it and take both mental and written notes. The reaction paper will be due at the end of the semester, the focus of which is an evaluation of the service received in a dining experience. At any point in the semester prior to the assignment being due, the student will be required to visit a restaurant that uses some form of table service. This simply means that the food must be delivered to the guest at the table by service staff. The reaction paper will cover the experience, indicate the name and location of the restaurant, and discuss the service received, making special comparisons to that shown in the “Service Video”. The reaction paper should be 1.5 -2 pages long, word processed with 1” margins and 12-point Times New Roman font.

Cooking Video: Each student will create a short, 8-10 minute video demonstrating the preparation of the following recipes from the text:

                             Pg 646 Glazed Pearl Onions

                             Pg 444-445 Poached Breast of Chicken with Tarragon Sauce

                             Pg 674 Classic Rice Pilaf

In this video, you should cover:

                             -what mis en place needs to be completed prior to cooking

                             -what other materials are needed to complete the recipes

                             -what techniques are needed to make the recipes

                             -what special considerations would be needed if the recipe

                             was multiplied to serve 100 guests

Menu Project: Using the material presented in Chapter 4 of On Cooking, develop a cohesive menu that conforms to a chosen restaurant theme. The menu should be presented with an accompanying summary that details the type of menu (as in cyclic, market, etc.) and type of establishment. The menu should be composed and presented in the way that it would be to guests in a restaurant.