Summer Institutes FAQS

What are Summer Institutes?

Summer Institutes provide technical and professional instruction for restaurant and foodservice educators. The goal is to provide educators with a forum to learn cutting-edge skills they can apply to the classroom and offer an opportunity to network with teachers from across the country, share best practices, tour industry establishments, and expand classroom-learning activities. These week-long, intensive workshops are delivered by industry experts at post-secondary institutions across the country.

Completion of each level offers educators 33 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) certified by the American Culinary Federation.

At the end of each workshop, participants complete an exam that tests their knowledge on the topics covered during that week’s course. Educators who pass these exams may work toward their Certified Secondary Foodservice Educator (CSFE) credential. More information on the CSFE and how to apply can be found here.

There are three levels of Summer Institutes:

  • Level 1: Basic Begins with an overview of the restaurant and foodservice industry, and leads into kitchen and management essentials.
  • Level 2: Advanced Topics include core culinary techniques, operational excellence, and career basics.
  • Level 3: Mastery - Level 3 concludes culinary techniques, before branching into timely topics like sustainability and global cuisines.
  • Spotlight Series Content is determined by the host school, and is timely and topical.

Specialized courses, entitled Spotlight Series, are also available to educators who have completed their CSFE credential. These courses focus on specialized topics and vary from year to year. Topics in years past include: chocolatier, artisan bread making, pastry making, coffee roasting, farm-to-table, greening your kitchen, etc.
What is the status of 2020 Summer Institutes?

Due to the COVID-19 viral disease pandemic and its related and persistent safety concerns, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has been forced to cancel Summer Institutes 2020. Based upon the World Health Organization’s guidance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to limit gatherings, the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation to avoid nonessential travel, and State emergency declarations, conducting Summer Institutes has become an impossibility, despite our diligence. We send our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause; however, the safety and wellbeing of program attendees, host site staff and students, and those with whom they come into contact is our highest priority. All host sites and registered course attendees will receive notifications by the Summer Institutes team via email. If you have any other questions, please contact us at

Who can attend?
Any secondary-level educator teaching foodservice, culinary education, and/or restaurant management programs. Typically, attending educators are Career and Technical Education (CTE) or Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) instructors seeking to improve their skillsets to bring back to their classrooms.
What is the cost to attend?
Registration for Summer Institutes Levels 1-3 and Spotlight Series courses is $675 and includes:
  • Five days of instruction
  • Classroom and lab supplies
  • Chef coat
  • Knife kit (starter kit for Level 1 only)
  • Instructional materials
  • Opening reception
  • Tour of an industry site
  • Breakfast, lunch, and breaks each day
Please note: transportation, hotel, and additional meals are not covered by the Registration fee.
What is the relation to ProStart?
While the Summer Institutes curriculum is heavily based on the ProStart Foundations of Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts (FRMCA) curriculum, there is no direct correlation between the Summer Institutes and ProStart program. Details of the ProStart program (e.g. ProStart Invitationals, FRMCA, Certificates of Achievement, etc.) are not discussed in Summer Institutes course. However, the topics covered are highly transferable to a ProStart classroom and, historically, ProStart educators have found the courses helpful in providing the skillsets and foundational knowledge necessary to effectively teach ProStart students.
When does registration open for 20 courses?
Registration for 2020 is closed, due to COVID-19.
Can educators waive out of Level 1?
Yes. Educators with an undergraduate degree in hotel and restaurant management or culinary arts, a current ACF certification as a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE), or current ACF certification as a Certified Secondary Culinary Educator (CSCE) are eligible to waive out of the Level 1 Summer Institute. Please see the waiver application here.
Is there funding support to attend?
Yes. Grants are available for educators to attend Levels 1 through 3 of the Summer Institutes. Applications are open January 1 through January 31, 2020. Please click here to learn more and apply.
What's included in the courses?
The cost of registration covers training materials, a week of classroom instruction, exam processing, breakfast and lunch daily, off-site activities (at the discretion of the host site), and one Summer Institutes chef coat per attendee. For Level 1 attendees, a knife kit is also provided.

Please note that transportation to your session and lodging are not included.


What is provided by the NRAEF?
The NRAEF will provide educational materials, schedules, and important information to educators prior to the course via email. It is crucial that you register with an active email address so that we may reach out. If you do not have access to your school district email account during the summer months, please register using a personal email address to ensure you receive critical information and updates.

On site, the NRAEF provides chef coats, knife kits (Level 1 only), workbooks, training materials, and exams.
What is provided by the host site?
The Summer Institutes host sites will provide schedule updates and important information to educators prior to the course via email. It is crucial that you register with an active email address so that they may reach out. If you do not have access to your school district email account during the summer months, please register using a personal email address to ensure you receive critical information and updates.

On site, the host institution provides classroom instruction, kitchen and lab sessions, field trips or industry experiences, and breakfast and lunch.
What should I wear when on site?
An appropriate uniform for all kitchen and lab sessions consists of:
  • A chef coat; the Summer Institutes-provided coat or any other will suffice.
  • Long pants such as chef pants, cargo pants, chinos, etc. No shorts are allowed.
  • Appropriate close-toed, non-slip shoes. No sandals are allowed.

Classroom or offsite activities may not require the standard uniform. Casual attire is typically acceptable for work outside of kitchen and lab sessions. If you have questions, please see the Site Details form for your course, or reach out to
How should I get to my host site? Where should I stay during the course?
The Site Details form for your course will contain recommendations on transportation and accommodation. Please note, it is up to you to book your travel and lodging.
Who should I contact with questions?
Please first reach out with any questions to the Summer Institutes team at If necessary, staff will connect with your host site for further support.
Why is pedagogy covered? I'm already a teacher and learned this in school.
We have a wide range of attendees at Summer Institutes courses. Some participants are trained educators with less experience in a restaurant, foodservice, or hospitality setting, while others are experienced in industry roles, but may not have a lot of classroom experience. In order to deliver a course that meets the needs of all attendees, pedagogy is included.

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