Choctaw Nation Partners With Oklahoma State University for Casino Culinary Program

Choctaw Casino & Resort - Durant

DURANT, OK – Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) Division of Commerce has partnered with Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) to offer Choctaw Casinos & Resorts food and beverage associates culinary training and college course credit beginning July 17.  

Choctaw Nation and OSU Institute of Technology have created an educational course designed specifically for casino and resort associates that’s aimed at preparing them for culinary careers. If associates decide to pursue further accreditation, certification, or degree programs with OSUIT, they will receive prior learning credit toward their educational goals. Choctaw Nation casinos are the first to implement a program of this nature in Oklahoma.  

“We are thrilled to offer our associates an opportunity to kick-start their careers,” said Heidi Grant, Choctaw Nation Executive Officer of Gaming and Hospitality. “Our goal is to empower each associate with the knowledge to succeed in their new adventure. Whether they are working toward an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Culinary Arts or seeking a certificate, we are laying a foundation they can build upon.” 

Prior to starting their new roles at one of Choctaw Casinos & Resorts’ 42 restaurants, new associates will receive a week of virtual and hands-on learning through OSUIT’s culinary training program to help get them acclimated in their new role. Each day begins with training videos and quizzes before moving into hands-on preparation and one-on-one attention from qualified chef instructors. The first week ranges from the basics of hygiene and kitchen safety to detailed instruction on cooking methods.  

After week one, employees will transition to their work locations to continue learning. Ten weeks later, they will begin taking in-depth courses in the second-tier level of training, which includes advanced cooking skills, techniques, and terminology. At the end of second-tier training, associates will be able to prepare a two-course meal and receive a co-branded CNO and OSUIT certificate. 

This program will also be available to existing culinary team members who wish to sharpen their skills.