Culinary Program Partnership Choctaw Nation Photo

Choctaw Nation Partners with Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology for Culinary Program

Choctaw Nation employees to receive hands-on culinary training, course credit

Published July 19, 2023

DURANT, Okla. – In a one-of-a-kind partnership, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) Division of Commerce is teaming up 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’re thrilled to offer our associates an opportunity to kick-start their careers,” Heidi Grant, Choctaw Nation Executive Officer of Gaming and Hospitality, said. “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 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. Some current associates may be scheduled to attend training as a refresher, but all are able to utilize the training by coordinating with their supervisor.

If you’re interested in a culinary career, check out Choctaw Casinos & Resorts food and beverages opportunities here.

About The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 212,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.


Contact Kristina Humenesky for any media relations needs at [email protected].

About Choctaw Casinos & Resorts

Owned and operated by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 212,000 tribal members and 12,000 employees. Choctaw Casinos feature a variety of gaming, hotel and resort properties throughout southeastern Oklahoma. Locations include Durant, Grant, Pocola, Idabel, Broken Bow, McAlester, Stigler and Stringtown. The Choctaw Casino & Resort-Durant underwent a $500 million expansion in August 2021 that added 1,000 more rooms and created 1,000 new jobs. In addition to the increased room capacity, the Sky Tower also features an expanded non-smoking gaming floor and fresh amenities such as new pools, a parking garage, retail space, entertainment options and dining venues. For more information, visit

About OSU Institute of Technology

OSU Institute of Technology is Oklahoma’s only university of applied technology, offering accelerated Bachelor of Technology and associate degree programs that meet global workforce demands. OSUIT is known for its high academic standards, world-class laboratory environments, reciprocal partnerships with business and industry, and top career placement rates in the region.

Media Inquiries

For more information about OSUIT, call 918-293-4680 or 1-800-722-4471, or visit the web at